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“We Will Live on to Spite Our Enemies”: The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation Helped in Treatment of a Woman Who Almost Lost Her Eyesight in the Basement of Mariupol


Fifty-six-year-old Oksana is a Donetsk resident who has been living in Mariupol since 2015. She met the full-scale war there together with her granddaughter. The woman, who is a diabetic patient, and the girl spent a month in the basement with almost no food or water. Affected by what she experienced, and the trauma caused by an explosion, Oksana almost lost her eyesight and became disabled. To restore her ability to see the world, she needs medication, which the family cannot afford. The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation responded to the call for help by financing a treatment course.

“I knew about the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation when I still lived in Donetsk. My daughter received some aid, the food assistance packages in particular. We are very thankful for that, as at that time we were just scraping by,” Oksana recalls.

The woman was forced to move from Donetsk to Mariupol. She liked it very much in the city, until the full-scale war began. One of the early mornings, a shell landed near the entrance door of her multi-flat house. The windows shattered, and a fire started. Mariupol never saw any peace again. During the next month of living in the basement, Oksana prayed for one thing: to save the child. While everything around kept exploding and burning...

“How could they bomb a city full of civilians that were not evacuated? Where there were so many people and children,” the woman asks.
A volunteer found the grandmother and granddaughter in the basement, and they managed to leave for Lviv, and then for Poland. By that time, Oksana’s eyesight had dropped by 90%, and she could hardly see people’s faces. The medical insurance did not ensure the necessary help, so they returned to Ukraine and began the treatment, having collected some money. Oksana was given some injections right in her eyes, and it helped, but the money ran out...

“We remembered about the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation. It is not just a helping hand, but a life-saving ring for people in despair. I am only 56 years old. I want to see more of the world around... I am very grateful to the caring personnel of the Foundation. When I found out that they could help me, this gave me some strength. It meant I could live on and enjoy the sunshine. We are alive and will continue to live to spite all our enemies. We will win and Ukraine will be the best,” says the woman.

The project Treatment and Rehabilitation of Injured Adults is implemented in the framework of the program Rinat Akhmetov – Saving Lives.
The Foundation provides its help to Ukrainians who suffered from the shelling of residential districts. The aid includes medical treatment, rehabilitation, psychological assistance, etc.

If you or someone you know requires help, write to the Foundation’s messenger or call the toll-free hotline 0 800 509 001 (the line is open from Monday to Friday).