A mom who was reportedly told to leave her disabled son in hospital as he’d need around-the-clock care and wouldn’t live beyond a year has been reunited with him 16 years later.
Russian mom Irene Kuzmicheva discovered during the fifth month of a difficult pregnancy that her body was rejecting her unborn son, Nikita.
According to local media, she was also told that unless the baby was removed, they both risked dying.
But when Nikita was born, weighing just 900g, he wasn’t breathing.
Doctors then revived the little one, but he was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus and epilepsy among other problems.
"Doctors told me the boy won't survive,” Irene says.
"Learning that his brain damage was severe and irreversible was the worst moment of my life.
“The thought that my little boy would never move or talk on his own. I felt like I was going insane, I’d run around the hospital screaming in the night, and I constantly needed sedatives.”
Irene agreed to leave the baby behind after doctors reportedly convinced her to do so.
“They convinced me, and I signed the baby over to them,” she says.
After 18 months, she and her husband contacted the hospital and were told the boy was still alive and had been moved to a children’s home.
But the children's home allegedly refused to allow them to see the boy, saying he needed constant medical attention and insisting he wouldn’t survive.
"For the next 15 years there was a constant weight on my heart and I couldn't stop thinking about him,” says Irene.
“I’d watch some TV shows that were related to children and get suffocated by tears . . .
“I would imagine that he would be three years old by now. I would hear some song that played back in the day, and everything inside me would turn upside-down,” she says.
But life changed when the couple received a note in February telling them they needed to start paying financial support for their son after a change in the law.
This meant their son was still alive.
Her husband, whose name is not known, went to visit their son in a care centre in Moscow.
The boy was well looked after and cared for, according to local media. The family then took him home.
"When I walked along the long corridor, I thought I’d collapse, but when I saw him, I relaxed straight away,” Irene says.
“His appearance was irrelevant, and as soon as I saw him it was like a weight was lifted from my heart.
“Hugging him was easy and calm, and life suddenly was so much easier than it had been in the previous 16 years,” the mom says.
The family is now taking care of the youngster.
Having Nikita with her was initially difficult for Irene, she says. He needed care at night in the first few days and a special diet, but after two months Irene says it’s become easier.
The family can now sense his emotions and recognise the sounds he makes to indicate he wants something.
"The only regret is why I didn't do it earlier,” she says.
“For the first time in my life and I am happy, and I no longer suffer from depression or struggle to get up in the morning.
“Of course there are difficulties, but they are nothing compared to what I was suffering before.”
Children's charity owner Yulia Tarasov says the family’s story is inspiring.
“I think this is a unique case [where] a blood relative has adopted such a child. I’ve known him for five years, and we make sure that all of the children in our care have a special adult who acts like a parent,” Yulia says.
“But of course, this can’t compare with real parents. It’s really amazing that he found a home and relatives – and especially relatives who are so loving.”
Source: Magazine Features