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Lidia’s Story: Thankful for ‘miracle’ wheelchair

Lidia's StoryLidia, 81, lives just outside of Zaporozhye, Ukraine. She has lived in the same village her entire life. She loves it there, despite the violence that erupted when the ongoing conflict broke out in 2014. She knows nearly everyone in her village and is well-loved by her community.

Lidia’s husband passed away 11 years ago. Her daughter Tamara is married and is close to her mother. Tamara shares, “My mother has always been kind to everyone and she gives very generously. She used to stay as busy as possible and even though she couldn’t do as much when she got older, she still picked apricots and other fruit, which she would sell at the market so she could buy tea and cookies to give to the people who visited her. She also used the money to buy things for people in need.”

In recent years, Lidia started losing her sight. By last spring, she could only see the outline of shapes. One day, she tripped, fell, and broke her hip. Because Lidia could no longer take care of herself, Tamara moved in to care for her. This was a challenging season for Tamara, because she was also caring for her husband, who was left severely disabled after suffering a stroke.

Not long after she fell and broke her hip, Lidia lost her sight completely. Her doctors couldn’t do anything to help her. Tamara did everything she could to help her mother. She would often carry her outside so she could sit in a chair and enjoy the fresh air. They didn’t consider getting a wheelchair, because they couldn’t afford to buy one.

When Mission Eurasia’s ministry partners and School Without Walls (SWW) leaders in Zaporozhye learned of Lidia’s need for a wheelchair, they visited her home. The next week they returned with a brand-new wheelchair provided by Free Wheelchair Mission. Tears rolled down Lidia’s cheeks as she sat in her wheelchair for the first time. All she could say was, “This is a miracle, a true miracle. I never even dreamed that this would happen.”

Mission Eurasia later contacted Tamara to check on her mother.

“Now I know that my mom is safe when she is outside, and I can even take her for walks,” Tamara said. “Best of all, I can finally take her to the hospital, which is 10 minutes away. In the past, I had to hire a car to pick her up, which was very expensive, so this wheelchair is such a help to us. My mother still talks about it with everyone who comes to visit her, and she loves sharing the story of your kindness. Now, everyone on our street is also talking about the wheelchair, because they can’t believe that you gave it to her as a gift. Thank you for all you have done for us!”