SOS Ukraine - assistance for the disabled

by Fundacja im. Doktora Piotra Janaszka PODAJ DALEJ/ Doctor Piotr Janaszek PAY IT FORWARD Foundation
SOS Ukraine - assistance for the disabled
SOS Ukraine - assistance for the disabled
SOS Ukraine - assistance for the disabled
SOS Ukraine - assistance for the disabled

Project Report | Oct 25, 2023
Sergei is in love with life in a wheelchair.

By Filip Sobieszek | Project Leader

PAY IT FORWARD - Sergei
PAY IT FORWARD - Sergei

"My name is Sergey. I am 61 years old and I no longer have dreams. Since the war broke out I have stopped dreaming. I live from day to day. But I do have wishes. I wish that I could wake up every morning and drink coffee, talk to a nice person, read a good book, play the guitar, eat something good and fall asleep without fear. This is what I crave every day. Is it too much to ask?"
 
Sergei is making tea. It smells very nice. It' s jasmine tea from Ukraine. We sat down at the table in the hostel kitchen. We looked at each other for a while. He has nice, big, chestnut color, trusting eyes, a little overgrown with bushy eyebrows but it adds to his mysteriousness. Sergei, today a musician, poet, instructor of independent living, and once a sportsman and soldier. A man of many talents, very humble, straightforward, helpful and friendly. He fled Ukraine from bombed-out Kherson. For two months he lived without running water and electricity. He had to drive  5 kilometers, in a wheelchair, to his friends for water, and charged his cell phone at his neighbors' house, because they had a power generator.


I wanted to live
"I don' t remember such fear ever in my life as when, having no way to hide in a shelter, I stayed alone in the apartment and counted down to 50 until the next bomb fell and then the next one and maybe the one after will hit my apartment? It could happen since the block across the street was gone. I' m a tough guy, I' m military, but I fell in love with this wheelchair life of mine and I really wanted to just live some more..." Sergei says. At the next countdown to 50 bombs dropped. He contacted an organization in Ukraine that sent him to the safe haven of the Doctor Piotr Janaszek PAY IT FORWARD Foundation in Konin. Here, in a small hostel room, it is quiet, warm, there is running water, electricity, warm soup on the stove and friends. Once again in his life Sergei has chosen ... to live.  Before the war, his dream was to go to a sanatorium in Odessa. He spent a year trying to get a referral but finally got it. On the day he was supposed to pick up the documents with the date set for his departure to Odessa, the building where the office was located was bombed to dust.  Along with the building his referral to the sanatorium and two female clerks working there... From then on he stopped dreaming ...

Poet and soldier
He has been in a wheelchair for 37 years. When, while preparing to become a professional soldier, he had an accident and knew that he would never walk. He did not break down.  - One can think of two ways: "I won't walk" is the end or "I won't walk but I have my head and hands functional" is the beginning. I caught on to the latter and believe me, I fell in love with this wheelchair life of mine. If I hadn't had the accident today I would be just a retired soldier, and yes I am a retired soldier, but I am also an athlete, a musician, a poet and on top of that I help others. Well I love it! - Sergei laughs and cuts an apple in half. One half of the juicy fruit goes to me. It's touching.
Cupid' s arrow

He is a man of many talents. He has won prizes at various sports championships: he shot a bow and a sport pistol, participated in half marathons, and played table tennis. He has worked as a sound engineer at Radio Kherson, ihe s an instructor of independent living and helps people after accidents starting to live again according to his principle: a wheelchair is the beginning of a new life and not the end of life. He graduated from the Conservatory of Music with a degree in piano but also plays the guitar and flute very well. He is charming, gallant, handsome, and when asked why he is single he answers: - "I was in love a few times as a youngster. I liked that state" he laughs. - Then when I got into the army. They quickly knocked love out of my head. The military is hard and responsible work. There is no room for love. That' s what they said. And I believed it. After the accident I had to focus on rehabilitation because I was badly bruised, and I wanted to be independent as soon as possible. "Yes I had a crush on nurses, but all the nice ones were already taken." he winks. "Today I know one thing, that being with a disabled person on a daily basis is a hard grind. I couldn' t demand that of anyone, but you know how it is. Cupid from heaven will shoot an arrow and a person in a wheelchair or not will be hit" he laughs. He lives from day to day. He doesn't want anything big, just simple, everyday things. He has many friends, an old cell phone, a jacket, a grocery voucher and a roof over his head. What more to desire?
PAY IT FORWARD - Sergei
PAY IT FORWARD - Sergei
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Project Leader:
Olga Janaszek-Serafin
Konin , Poland
$7,624 raised of $30,000 goal
 
77 donations
$22,376 to go
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