Hello, my name is Irina Zueva. I am 50 years old and have been working as a nurse on the home care team at BCH since October 2011. There are 25 families on my list and I visit them regularly to check the children’s condition, note any changes and do some basic physiotherapy and I always find time to sit and chat to the mothers. All visits are scheduled and I aim to do two per day.
I first came across the Belarusian Children’s Hospice when I was on a palliative nursing course. The course was actually held in BCH’s cramped old building in the second floor room next to the little chapel under the eaves. This is where BCH used to have the wall boards full of photographs of departed children. I remember the effect those photos had on me. It was then that I realised that this was where I wanted to work.
I became absorbed in trying to understand why some children are born to have such short lives full of suffering and an early death. Although I still haven’t found the answer I have learned how to help those children and their parents to the best of my ability. I have learned to give unconditional love, warmth and care to support the parents through difficult times.
On my 45th birthday, I was offered the job at BCH which struck me as very symbolic and appropriate. It wasn’t until I worked in the children’s hospice that I realised my calling in life. I am full of love for these desperately ill children and this love does not grow weaker.