Meline Avetisyan and Gor Ohanjanyan are in the seventh year of their married life together; they say, this period has made them grow up, separating life into periods before and after the year 2021.
The unexpectedly deteriorated health condition of their firstborn child, Adam, in January 2021, made them put aside the worldly life they had before and start living in daily prayers.
Their son Adam was only 1.5-year-old, when they took him to hospital. It took the doctors some while before they could tell the reason Adam’s body temperature would keep high for 30 days in a row. A blood test at the medical center “Arabkir” showed the boy had contracted COVID-19.
The acute myeloblastic leukemia, a malignant tumor of blood and bone marrow, was diagnosed at the Center for Hematology after Prof. Yolyan.
“We celebrated Adam’s second birthday at the intense care unit in ‘Arabkir’. Doctors’ prognoses were pessimistic about Adam. His chances of survival were just 3 percent… By the grace of God, we somehow overcame the COVID, but stayed under doctors’ supervision at the hematological center for 3 months, because the doctors had suspected a blood condition with my son,” Meline, the boy’s mother, recalls.
Doctors were unanimous in that the only way to save the boy’s life was to have a bone marrow transplant, an option unavailable in Armenia. It was decided to take Adam to Saint Petersburg for the surgery.
To pay the bills of the surgery, a fundraising was organized on Facebook. Little Adam grew popular owing to the fundraising. The needed sum was raised in just six days; the transplant of the bone marrow was successful.
It’s been several months now little Adam and his parents are back from Saint Petersburg.
Luckily, Adam’s body shows positive response to the therapy. Meline is cautiously optimistic about the dynamics of her son’s health condition. Restraining the feeling of happiness and managing own emotions is a skill that came with the life situation she found herself in. This maybe the reason Meline’s and her son’s the daily life has not changed.
“Adam has a very strict routine. We visit the hospital thrice a day to get the medication there. We closely follow the prescribed diet, get outdoors only after the sun is down, and refrain from contacts in closed areas, except for visiting grandparents, whom we see only once a week,” Adam’s mother says.
A testament that made see the world in a new light
Meline, a keen traveler and friend, does not complain of being forced to get isolated with Adam. Neither do her friends and family: everyone gets along with whatever options the virtual communication may offer. Adam’s health is at the core of everything; Meline knows she will catch up with the friends rather soon.
Meline says she has been contemplating about past and the present life every now and then these days, feeling the situation has added her some 10 years in the last 1.5.
“I am much more relaxed now. I used to get upset and started panicking literally with any difficulty I faced; now I know there is a way out of any situation, you just need to find the best solution. I have started seeing the world in a different light after Adam’s disease.”
Strength, patience, and faith; those were the fundamental things that have helped the young couple to overcome the situation. Meline underlines that her faith has helped her the most. Despite there were many of those who would give them hope, it is owing to their inner faith that they have survived the hard times, she says.
“Leukemia is a tough matter for a child. Whether a child overcomes the disease or not, depends much on its parents. If the parents are not strong enough, the child will hardly be able to survive. Anything must be done to make the child feels happy and keeps the spirit high at all times,” Meline believes.
Meline and Gor have received psychological support both at the hematological center in Yerevan, and the hospital in Saint Petersburg. Meline says, now, whenever a psychological help is needed, the couple refers to Armen “Armos” Martirosyan, the founding director of the Health Fund for Children of Armenia, who helped raise the full amount of the money needed for Adam’s therapy. The family has not encountered any financial issues regarding the child’s treatment; the medication is being provided through the “City of Smile” Foundation.
“I plead people be kind. A donation as little as AMD 500 may seem miserable and hardly be able to help, but that is not true; it’s been through AMD 500 donations that we have managed to save Adam’s life. And there are so many kids with serious health conditions, who can be saved, if we join hands for that,” says Meline.
Following their son’s case, Meline and Gor try to participate in every fundraising they can. They believe the kindness boomerangs.
Written by Lilit Poghosyan
Photo credit: Meline Avetisyan, published upon the consent of Adam’s parents.
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