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When every hour counts: the story of the ten-month Veronika rescue


In early August, ten-month Veronika Zimovets was hanging between life and death. The girl from the Amvrosiivskyi district was taken to the hospital with a diagnosis of intoxication. With each passing hour, Veronika's condition was getting worse, Mariupol doctors diagnosed her with intussusception, vulgarly called the "twisted bowel".

“Every hour counted. A little more wasted time, and we would not have saved the child. The small intestine twisted with the large, squeezing the vessels, and that caused the intestine necrosis. Half of the large intestine was necrotic, that part had to be removed," says Oleksandr Martyntsov, head of the children's surgery department at the Mariupol territorial medical establishment.

After a serious operation, the girl spent a week in intensive care. Doctors supported Veronika as best they could, while parents were collecting money for the necessary medications. Money was not enough, and the necessary medications were difficult to be found in local pharmacies.

"Our girl was taken to the intensive care unit, she needed expensive medications, otherwise she could die. We went everywhere, searched all over the city and could hardly find what she needed. Then they gave out another list of medications which we could not find in any pharmacy," says Veronika's mom Yevheniia Zimovets.

In desperate efforts to save their daughter, the Zimovetses appealed for help to the Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Centre. Their individual application was promptly reviewed and the newest medications necessary for Veronika’s rehabilitation were bought.

"The Zimovets family turned to the Centre when the child was in intensive care. The girl needed treatment for resuscitation from a critical condition. We provided a set of antibiotics for the prevention of postoperative complications, "said Ihor Khadzhynov, head of the "Targeted Assistance" program of the Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Centre.

Today, Veronika is on a special diet – she eats only semolina porridge. According to doctors, the rehabilitation period is going to be long, but now she is out of danger. Parents are happy and thankful for the help.

"Many thanks to Rinat Leonidovych for the fact that he provides help. Thanks for having someone to turn to in a difficult situation. If the assistance was not provided for us, Veronika might not have been in this world anymore," Yevheniia Zimovets admits.

The Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Centre has been supporting the Donbas residents for the fourth year already. Within the framework of the "Targeted Medical Assistance" program, 1,607 people received assistance in emergency treatment and surgeries. 936 of them are children.