Disabled people do not bite
We continue to share news about our wards who have already received help from the Tradition. Today we tell the story of Nikolai Sokolov – thanks to your help, he now has a bath, and he no longer has to wash from the kettle, at the risk of getting pressure sores and suppuration.
The village of Tersyuk is a small point in the Kurgan region with a population of seven hundred people. Nikolay Sokolov lives there. He is 36 years old, 15 of whom he is paralyzed: trauma to the cervical spine. He first turned to a charity fund for help three years ago: he needed to replace the batteries for his electric carriage, because the roads in the countryside are not designed for ordinary strollers. You won’t either go to the store or visit … How Nikolay got it – a separate inconceivable epic, reminiscent of Homer's creations: collect some documents, find others, do not forget the third and be sure to go through a medical and social examination. The bureaucratic hexameter is so strict that out of 70 people with disabilities, only Nicholas managed to get an electric vehicle. Now he is helping others by telling thematic forums how to draw up statements and gain strength after they are submitted. We talked with him about how it is better for disabled people and ordinary people to support each other and what excites people with disabilities most of all.
– Tell me about yourself? How do you live, what do you do?
– Mom and I live together: she is now retired and helps me with what she can. Thirteen years ago, we acquired an old house and now live here. In the province there are few prospects for earning, so almost all my activity is a garden. When nobody is at home, you have to water the beds yourself from the hose. We have everything here – potatoes, a greenhouse with tomatoes, zucchini, onions, carrots. Two years ago, I even kept bees, my brother helped me with them.
– What do you like to do in your free time?
– I don’t have much time to dream, but I like to take a walk on the street or visit the forest. I know a lot of mushroom places – when relatives come, we drive to the forest together by car and pick up huge baskets of mushrooms. I show them where to take, in general, the command! (Laughs.) And we also have a river nearby. I really like fishing.
– How did you learn about the "Tradition"? Is it difficult to seek help from a charity?
– The situation is almost the same everywhere: the state practically does not help, it is very difficult to find means of livelihood, and we mainly rely on charity. After all, it is necessary to repair the house – the roof is leaking, the veranda has rotted … I began to search for funds on the Internet, but then the priest from our church told me about “Tradition”. The foundation helped us with the construction of the bathhouse – we have been using it for a year now. They also tweaked the windows, and it became much better to live, this is a big help. In general, of course, it is very difficult to contact the funds. And because of the documents, and psychologically. They helped me only twice – in two different funds.
– What difficulties do you personally face in everyday life?
– Of course, the main problem is the inaccessibility of the environment. Something else is being done in the cities, but in the countryside nobody pays attention to it. Well, there wouldn’t be any money, the financial question is one thing, and the trouble is that nobody just needs it. We have only pensioners left here – everyone else is leaving for the city, despite the fact that housing is expensive there. It’s 150 kilometers to Kurgan, and 120 to Tyumen. I’ve been there very rarely, but I’ve noticed that there are practically nothing for people with disabilities in Kurgan, but there are ramps and comfortable buses in Tyumen. Why can’t we at least concrete the central street in Tersyuk so that we have the opportunity to walk normally? I do not know. People with disabilities are sitting in four walls.
– What do your friends from different cities say?
– You know, I now have a friend from Kurgan, he also has an electric carriage, but he cannot break himself psychologically: he’s used to sitting at home. Someone spends ten years in an apartment. I think this is very wrong: confined space affects a person badly. You communicate with people with disabilities abroad – everything is different: one woman from Canada was injured, so for the time that she was in the hospital, she was remodeled the house! They are rehabilitating faster, someone even returns to an active lifestyle. We have big problems with means of rehabilitation. They give out Chinese strollers that are worthless. For two years I tried to get another. Orders were changed every six months, I read them all, made notes – so in the end they even asked me in the hospital: “Leave us your notes, please, otherwise we don’t know how to get everything here!” Only at the beginning of 2018 I received a stroller, and before that he redid his requests five times. Now I help others – I know how difficult it is.
– How exactly do you help?
– Those who have recently received a disability know almost nothing: how to service themselves, how to draw up documents, how to ensure that there are no pressure sores. Ordinary people do not think about it until they themselves face a disaster. But we are ready to help, to prompt. We communicate on forums, conduct VKontakte groups, give each other advice, and organize ourselves. For example, it takes 2-3 years for a ramp to appear on a residential building. First, a statement is written in the housing and communal services, then it comes to the prosecutor's office, the courts … We need a lot of patience. And then it’s imperative to rest morally. And physically too.
“Have you ever been on holiday in the south?”
– Yes, in 2017 I received a ticket to Anapa. I liked it very much: the city is adapted for movement, there are even special strollers for swimming! You can go to the sanatorium only once every five years, and you also need an accompanying person. But still it’s great – you can’t stay at home all the time, as I said. It would be nice if we all could get out more often. People lack communication. They are locked in themselves.
“I think those who have never encountered a disability may be afraid to say something wrong …”
– Yes, you need to be simpler to relate to all this and communicate more with our brother! After all, I want human communication: people with disabilities do not bite!
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