Dmytro Kyrylovych from Popasna, a town near the contact line in Eastern Ukraine, is more than 90 years old. For over a year, he has been taking care of his wife Anna Kononivna, who is bedridden. As children, they both survived the horrors of World War II. In 2015, yet again, they had to hide from the shelling. “In the beginning, we went down to the basement, but eventually, we resigned; whatever happens, happens,” Anna recalls those difficult months.
Before, she used to embroider with beads, weave and knit. The wall carpet over her bed is adorned with some of her best handiwork. Although her fingers are no longer so agile, she continues to do what she loves. Needlework helps to distract Anna from the pain that comes with every attempt to make a movement. Dmytro is proud that his wife is not discouraged; after all, it is partly his merit. The husband took over all the household chores and constantly cheers up his wife. Despite the pessimistic forecasts of doctors, he believes that his wife will surely stand up again.
Dmytro walks us to the gate, leaving his wife only for a minute. The soup is bubbling on the stove. He is anxious to get everything ready for lunch. Although doing everyday chores is not always an easy task at his age, keeping himself busy is a way to escape from thoughts about the worst – “what will happen, if…”
The couple uses devices for persons with limited mobility, which they have taken out for free at the Popasnyansky social centre. Recently, the International Committee of the Red Cross donated to the centre much needed moving aids and assistance for the elderly, people with disabilities and patients suffering from chronic diseases, such as mattresses. We are glad that, with our support, Anna and Dmytro’s place as well as those of their neighbours got a little more equipped and that the moving aids permit the residents to go about their life a little more autonomously.