"…to the praise of the glory of His grace…" Ephesians 1:6

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May 2014 Missions Update – Sveta Gusieva

Dear friends,

This month God taught me a lesson that no matter how hard you try, you cannot meet Sveta Update May 2014 pic 1everyone’s expectations. I received a phone call from a family in Khmelnitskiy (south west of Lutsk) who wanted to bring their 18-year-old son to our center for 3 weeks of rehabilitation. The young man broke his neck while diving almost 2 years ago and has been in a wheelchair since that time. His parents have taken him to different centers in Ukraine to find help so that he would walk again. They live in a village and turned one room of their home into a gym for their son where he works for 5-6 hours every day on various exercises and also does a lot of standing with the help of his parents. After we evaluated the young man, we explained to the family what we are going to work on during his time here and they seemed to agree with it. But the more we worked with him, the more we understood that his family wants him to walk and they believe he will walk despite the severity of his trauma. It was really disturbing for us to see how desperately they believe this even though the young man has not walked during these 2 years and most likely never will again. By the end of the first week, they called and said they will not continue rehabilitation and will instead get acupuncture in Lutsk before going home. After talking to the mom, I learned that our center is not enough for them and they want something different for their son. This news really crushed me because this family wants unreal things for their son. It is very disappointing that they left before we could help him learn some skills to be independent in a wheelchair and in bed. It is a real problem in Ukraine that doctors do not explain to patients the details about their spinal cord injury and what to expect. It is also a problem that different people use families like this to earn money by saying that the patient will walk after their treatment. It made me consider the need for counselor at our center that would work with patients and their families. I also saw the need for better preparation for our therapists so they can actively educate families more.