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Svistunov Ivan, 7 years old

Date of birth: 29 June 2010.
Taganrog, Rostov Oblast.

Diagnosis: Congenital cerebrospinal hernia. Despite gloomy predictions, the boy began to walk. But his legs are not strong enough, so walking causes legs contortion. We beg you to help in buying orthoses, i. e. a special orthopaedic prosthesis, to fix the legs in a normal position. They cost RUB 307 000, and Vanya’s mother will never manage to collect the required sum without your help, since apart from the boy, she has another three children.
15 August 2017

From the letter of Ivan’s mother:

My son had been diagnosed with cerebrospinal hernia due to ultrasound investigation only when I was 34 weeks pregnant. I just couldn’t follow given advice, as they said to me: «The foetus you’re carrying is non-viable. A caesarean section won’t be performed, as there’s no one to save. It will die at once or, at best, in a couple of days.» But I listened to my heart and have never regretted doing so.

It was not a piece of cake, of course, but I had tremendous support. My elder daughter put Vanya’s toys on the floor in front of him, so that he had to crawl to take them — and he started crawling when he was nine months. By the age of twelve months he has been creeping and running on his knees all around the house, picking up all the toys he came across. At the age of eighteen months, due to imitating his younger six-months-old brother, he began to stand up with some aid. This winter Vanya went his first steps without any help, while he was making a long arm for his brother and sisters, just because couldn’t sit still. That was a really remarkable day for the family, we all couldn’t help crying with happiness. And we remembered the doctors wrongly predicting that Ivan wouldn’t be able neither to sit not to walk.

Today Vanya says he is almost an athlete — he scoots and can go a few steps without any aid. He’s dreaming that will be running soon. But his legs are not strong enough as yet, so his feet contort inside while he is walking. Certainly, under such conditions it’ll be difficult for the boy to walk, to say nothing of running. To avoid contortion and improve the skill of walking, the doctors recommend that the legs should be supported by the orthoses, which appeared to cost RUB 307 000. I have four children, and no husband to help. I beg you to help my son, so that he can lead a full life in the future, to become self-sufficient and independent. I will never manage to raise such a sum on my own.

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