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I am grateful that my son is alive!’: 50 healthy hearts thank the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation


The lives of fifty kids have already been saved thanks to the ‘Healthy Heart’ program of Rinat Akhmetov Foundation. They can now live normal lives and make their dreams come true.

The illness of little Roma Naboka, from Kamyshevakha village in Lugansk region, first manifested itself when he was very young. Shortly before that the child’s family had been able to avoid deadly danger.

‘I still shudder at the memory of July 2014. When I was five months pregnant with Roma, my family felt surrounded by the terror of hostilities. My little son was born on 31 December 2014. For two whole months, January and February 2015 I was hiding from the shelling with an infant boy, a four-year-old daughter, and two older kids in the basement’, - recalls the boy’s mother, Elena.

The boy visited Kiev for the first time with his mom, when he was younger than two years. He immediately loved the noisy city and cars – ever since then, cars have been Roma’s fascination.

However, the reason for his trip was sad, as there were suspicions the kid had a cardiac defect, and the family needed a final verdict from heart specialists in the capital. Unfortunately, the diagnosis was confirmed, and an urgent heart operation was needed. The doctors recommended to conduct it by non-invasive surgery, using acardiovascular method, without an incision of the chest.

‘Congenital heart disorder was diagnosed 2 years ago. It also affects the operation of the lungs, and so the child was often sick. The arterial duct was successfully closed, and Roma became the first patient for whom we started our cooperation with the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation. It resulted in help provided to dozens of children, absolutely for free’, - oday Andrey Maksimenko recalls - child endovascular surgeon of the Child Cardiology and Heart Surgery Centre.

However, similar operations are among the most expensive ones in health care, since they deal with the use of very expensive expendable materials. First of all, this is a special implant – an occlude. The large family did not have the money to purchase it.

‘Then the doctor advised us to appeal to the Rinal Akhmetov Foundation. It was on Saturday. We were told which documents were to be submitted. On Sunday we went home and sent documents by email - and already by Monday we got the response that the Fund would help with the operation for Roma, - says Elena Naboka. – I cannot express in words how I felt when I knew that the life of my child would be saved. He was operated on 1 February 2017’.

Little Roma Naboka became the first participant of the ‘Healthy Heart’ project.

‘For a child and their family, a ‘cardiac defect’ diagnosis is a difficult challenge. It is a constant threat to the life of the kid and life with numerous limitations. The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation helps these children. Under the ‘Healthy Heart’ project the Foundationworks together with the best heart surgeons in the country. Operations are conducted with the use of modern technologies that allows the child to recover quickly and forever forget about the terrifying diagnosis’, - tells Anastasia Kladova, head of projects and programs of Rinat Akhmetov Foundation.

These days Roma and his mom are in Kiev once again, to visit the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation where his old dream came true – a remote-control car. The boy also again met the doctor who operated on him about 2 years ago.

‘There is nothing to be afraid of. You can go to school, do professional sports – lead a normal life. You do not need to take preventive medication. Come again every two years for a check-up. Roma is entirely healthy, you can even fly to the moon!’- said Andrey Maskimenko in conversation with the mother.

As a token of appreciation, the boy brought many drawings with him. There are the cars in the most of them – the one she is so fond of.

‘We used to constantly worry for him, we would watch over Roma all the time. We limited him in everything, so that, God forbid, he never became sick. Any exertion was dangerous for him, he couldn't get overtired. Now Romka is very active, sometimes even too active! - says the boy’s mother, smilingly. “The most important thing is that he is healthy now, and I am very grateful to Rinat Akhmetov for helping us. For giving my son his life back”.