Back to Motherland
Organized by: Tatyana Shakhray
My name is Tatyana, I am 18 years old and I am a burn survivor. I was born in a small village in Ukraine but when I was 6 months old my life changed... I was laying on a clay bed with my rwo year old sister while my parents were outside doing housework. There was a wood stove attached to the clay bed that would warm it when it got cold and was pretty unsafe for small children. As I lay on my back I slowly moved myself with my hands and feet as babies do, off the bed and onto the stove. After my parents heard my excruciating cries they ran in to see what was the matter which at that point my mother fainted and my father took me off and wrapped me up. In the poor village we didn't have a vehicle so we borrowed a neighbors car and we drove to the nearest medically trained professional which happened to be one nurse who knew nothing about burns and put oil on me which was the wrong call but someone thought quickly and cooled me down. After they regulated my temperature they drove me to the nearest hospital which was a few hours away. The doctors were certain that I wouldn't make it but my mother disagreed to take me off life support. Till I was 2-3 years old I underwent many surgeries in Ukraine and other procedures without anesthesia because of their lack of technology. Finally a missionary found me and helped me and my mother come to America for my treatments and we moved here with my sister later on. Now after 18 years and over 100 surgeries later I'm still living here and doing pretty well but I still wish to go back to the place where it all started and get closure about all the things that have happened in my life. I want to go back and put all these things that trouble me to rest and just take this trip as a form of therapy because even though I've had all these scars all of these years I'm still getting used to people reacting to the way I look. I'm still coming to terms with it. The last and final reason I'd like to go back to the motherland is to visit my fathers grave who passed away 3 years ago and I havn't seen him in over 5 years.
Thank you and sorry for the long read