I would like to tell you about my intimate friend. His name is Andrey Diagel. He is ill and has been ill for a long time and rather seriously. The disease had started to worry him before I acquainted with him in 1996. Suddenly spin ache made itself felt and lasted for a long time. He felt such pains that he lost consciousness but doctors could not make out diagnose. And it looked like they were not eager to. It was surmised a osteochondrosis, radiculitis or even fracture of backbone. The necessity of making a magnetic resonance image was suggested by his flatmate but not his doctors (they even could not hit upon this idea). MR-image showed a tumor in his backbone. Andrey was assigned for operation. All this time his mother was by his side ( she is an invalid, parcel blind, far from being a young woman). That fact that the operation was performed poorly became clear two years ago, when the story repeated again. At this time we were friends already. It is said that everything bad is forgotten as time goes by, but how is it possible to forget the conditions in which appeared our postsurgical patients and their relatives in our hospitals. In itself the conclusion is made that in our country patients are disliked. I cannot explain in another way existing of cold wards, insanitariness and absence of medicines. While the patience lie in beds, people looking after them take shelter on chairs and stools. Personally I had been sleeping through the week on the cold floor (it was February). But time passed and Andrey began to recover, and for strengthening results he was assigned to Municipal Oncological Centre for irradiation. But the tumor emerged once again. He got one more irradiation in 2004 and such as he felt better, but in August there was apostasis. From that moment our hardship started. Because of hard pain in Adrey's back his legs began to fail, he hardly could get up in the morning. I took he with me, since at his home there was nobody to look after him. I went on leave and we started visiting doctors. Firstly it was his regional hospital at which doctors even refused to prescribe an anaesthetic, motivating their refusal by that fact that neuropathologist allegedly has no right to do it, but therapeutist send me every time to the neuropathologist. Everything fell back into place without changing. The medicine we had got with the help of friends and colleagues (we worked together at the Statistics Central Administrative Board of Kyiv region). And he felt worse and worse. We called up the ambulance systematically, but they did not even leave any documents certifying the fact of their visit, not to mention taking him to the hospital. He shouted with pain and I with my colleagues cried with helplessness. We had desire to remove him to the park bench and to call up an ambulance. May be in such a way we could attract to him the attention of medical men.
- Take me to the ninth floor and throw me down - asked Andrey. It is very painfully to look at beloved man in such moment. And this moment grew into hours, days, and weeks.
Surgeon who performed the first operation had not worked yet, that who performed the second was on leave at that time, and the rest just did not want to correct errors of others. The time was crawling. I was running from one doctor to another, gave visits to deputies and charity organizations in search of money for operation (Cheese could be gratuitous just in mouse trap).
It is a matter for another talk - the press, as it usually happens before the elections, is used to throw light upon some nice acts of the mighty of this world - rendering assistance to the disadvantaged families, orphans and invalids. In practice it is far from being so, I faced with it in person. Money and medicine we collected with the help of all Statistics department - there left some people in this world not indifferent to another's mischief. Thank them very much.
The time of operation came. Surgeons did not guaranty anything. I was notified in advance that the consequences could be severe. Having lived this year I still can not forgive myself for permitting that operation. I knew that it would be hard but even could not imaging how terrifying it could be. Perhaps it would be more effective to turn to the folk medicine or something else. I do not know. After operation his left leg failed. At the hospital we had been for three weeks. For this time nothing has changed, unless this time I did not sleep on the floor but at the foot of Andrey. I paid for everything therefore the attitude toward us was more or less fairly good. I can not forget twenty-years-old boy from Zhytomer region having his neck-bone broken. His mother, who buried her husband month ago getting petty wages and motionless son. They did not pay for the operation, and in a week they were thrown out the hospital, previously pulling out "extra" mattress from under him and having said: "Go away by whatever means - it own problems".
In three weeks we were discharged from the hospital, were assigning to irradiation although he could not be expose to rays at least for four months - there was the probability of radiation sickness. Andrey was slowly doing well, his leg left to be motionless, but he adapted himself to it and even began to go outside by his own. But completely forgot to say that by the time of operation he had got two tumors, but only one of them was excised. On account of the hardest incapacity (it is impossible to imagine the harder one) at the turn of December the complications appeared. He with great efforts got on his feet and hardly was able to move along the flat. We turned to folk medicine, took some remedies, tinctures, made some miraculous injections. But all efforts were unavailing. Then the MR-imaging was done. Tumor was progressing with top speed. And once again I asked for help neurosurgery, they sent me to chemotherapy. They doctors refused to perform anticancer chemotherapy saying that it could kill him. I told him lies, gave him remedies for liver and stomach maintaining and said him that was chemotherapy. I did not dare to tell him truth about doctors' denial to treat him. Every day he felt worse and worse. He shouted with pain so that dwellers of his block could not sleep at night. Doctors of region hospital began to stir a little - they received a letter from the central administrative board of Ministry of Health (that was that institution where we resorted to as well). The medical board was appointed, he was awarded invalidism and was prescribe narcotic. Narcotic was helpful not very long. He needed the increasing of a dose. But in hospital this medicines are limited. We called up an ambulance every night. One of the ambulance brigades called up for police reporting that they were called for a drug addict suffering from lack of dose. If paramedical workers are not able to distinguish drug addict from parcel paralyzed patient suffering from oncological disease, it follows that such paramedical workers are not worth a brass farthing.
District doctor, visiting Andrey at home, even did not enter his room, speaking with his father in the corridor, having closed the door. It seems that his groan made her nervous. It looked like that at the hospital nobody knew how to get rid of us. But in May 2005 they found the solution - assigned us to region hospital. I am 35, I have seen many hospitals, but I have never seen the most likely vagrant shelter in the full sense of this word combination. The ward in which Andrey was placed was named "Hope". We joked bitterly apropos of this, saying that it is a hope for better life on the other side. I have never seen such ignorance. Especially I "liked" one of the doctors (I never understood what she came for) she examined Andrey without reading his case history, said few times "Well" and went away. Apparently it was Well that she did not have the same misery. I do not say about dirt in wards, and a household bin filled with used nappies right in the middle of the corridor. Thank God that we had been staying at this hospital just for fuor days. After settling of drunken vagrant in Andrey's ward, I took him away.
Five months has passed already since Andrey was assigned to hospice department of municipal Oncological Centre. He feels bad of cause, his disease is not going to disappear, but here he understood that there left people not indifferent to other's destiny. He knows that would not be thrown away outside and would not be left there. Visiting him I observe changes occurring - HE WANTS TO LIVE! I do not know in what words I could express my gratitude to those who founded this hospital and those who work there. Hearty thanks to all of them, may the Lord save you all.
Andrey died on January, 10, 2006