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Bychenko Polina, 27 years old

Date of birth: 14 February 1983.
Permskii Krai, Bereznyaki.

Diagnosis: traumatic disease of the spinal marrow. Polina is in a wheel chair because of the doctors’ mistake. In the last three years she went through several extremely difficult surgeries on her spinal cord. None of them helped. Rehabilitation gives improvements, but the process is slow, there isn’t enough money for the recommended courses 3 times a year. One such course in the Ortos center costs 102,000 rubles (3,300 dollars).
26 August 2010

Polina wrote to us:

In 2006 doctors found osseous tumor in my rib. They mistakingly thought is was not a complicated surgery to remove the tumor. A thoracic doctor was performing the surgery, even though they saw that tumor was dangerously close to the spine cord. When I woke up from anesthesia, I realized I could not feel my body below waist. The doctors performed the second surgery right away, trying to remove a hematoma in my spinal marrow. It was not successful. I was discharged from the hospital, and doctors didn’t give me any hope for recovery. I could never walk since then. As a result I got a strong anterior curvature of my spinal cord, and I had a metal support installed in my back. I spent a whole year in bed after that surgery. Then they found a cyst in the spinal cord, this time I went to Moscow to remove it.

I thought it would never end. It seemed like I’d spend my whole life in hospitals, where doctors would send me to the operating room every half a year. At the age of 23 years old I lost everything I had: an almost finished degree from a Moscow university, a great job, all those opportunities and a chance for a family.

Last year my friends helped me with the money for one rehabilitation course. When I came back from there, I realized that I must never stop fighting and that I have a chance to walk again. I have seen some improvement, my motor activity increased. I found hope for the first time in three years.

Our government does not help me get money for my treatment. They say there is not enough money in the budget. Therefore, I need to pay for my own treatment. Doctors say I need rehabilitation courses three times a year, but how am I going to come up with so much money? I cannot work, I live with my parents who are retired. Just one rehabilitation made me realize that my life hasn’t stopped. I found hope that one day I will get up from my wheel chair and make my first step. I ask you to please help me do that.

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