Artyom has been unwell all his life. Shortly after birth he was diagnosed with childhood cerebral palsy and learning difficulties. Cerebral palsy patients are not normally sent to the Belarusian Children’s Hospice but when Artyom’s parents came asking for help they could not refuse.
Artyom had grown into a much loved child who never heard the word ‘disabled’ at home. Sadly, this did not prevent his condition from leaving its mark on him. Despite the wonderful care of his parents, he started developing phobias. Artyom was afraid of stairs, noises, animals and any changes in the home. One phobia would be replaced by another. Worst of all was Artyom’s fear of being left alone. One day Artyom’s home teacher told him about the Belarusian Children’s Hospice where children with problems are given help.
That very same day Artyom’s mother found the telephone number and rang. A week later Artyom was making new friends with children who, like him, had spent their childhood at home without other children. Together their lives seemed brighter. The first visits to the day centre and attempts to join the group activities were difficult both for Artyom and the hospice staff. He would hardly say anything and did not want his mother to leave his side. It took a whole month before he would allow his mother to leave him at the day centre. A year later, an amazing event occurred. Artyom happily travelled 70km in the hospice minibus WITHOUT his mother or his father to the hospice’s summer holiday camp in Zabrodie. For three weeks Artyom enjoyed a holiday in the fresh air with other children, hospice staff and volunteers. This was yet another hospice miracle!