If there is an edge of the world somewhere, it would probably be the place where the war that have lasted for many years is aggravated by pandemic and quarantine measures and where the most vulnerable elderly people have to rely on their meager pensions to fight for life.

For 81-year-old Valentyna Tretyankova from front-line town of Maryinka, eastern Ukraine, all three unfortunate conditions came into place. Over 2 weeks ago, she felt unbearable pain in her chest. She is used to tolerating a lot of pain in the last couple of years, but this time, it was different.

On April 15, 2020, a month after the announcement of total quarantine, and 6 years after the beginning of war in eastern Ukraine, this 81-year-old elderly woman had a heart attack.

Thankfully enough, CBN-Emmanuel’s team heard about this need and came to visit the woman, bring her some food and just be there to listen to her.

 “I have been suffering for six years now – Valentyna shares – since the war came to our land.  Every time a projectile falls and explodes,  high blood pressure “hits” me immediately. Every time I hear the sound of a machine gun, I start seeing “stars” in my eyes and my head is spinning.

Normally, I would have to lie down and this would make me feel better. But this time, a short rest didn’t help. You know, we’ve been “in quarantine” for 6 years here in Maryinka, but this COVID-19 pandemic literally put us here to the edge.  I started having really bad and scary thoughts about the future. Now, with these quarantine measures I can’t go out, but with my health condition I have to go to the pharmacy.

Normally, when I receive my tiny pension, I pay my bills and my priority number two  is buying medicines at the local pharmacy. And only after that, from as much as I have left, I buy food and basic supplies. I must say, I never buy fruit or normal meat. I can have some fruit from my garden, but the best meat I can get are some cheapest chicken wings. It’s hard to live alone. My son is also disabled and he lives far away,  in another town. Due to his bad health he can’t visit me and my life has been very difficult and very lonely!

How do you think I felt when in these terrible conditions of lack of money, war and quarantine I head I had a heart attack at 81? The doctor told me that I needed urgent hospitalization, but of course I had to refuse. I have no one to visit me or bring me food to the hospital. So I decided to stay at home for as long as I have left.

Thank you, kids, for bringing me this grocery bag right to my house! This food will be enough for me for a whole month and I hope I will live still another month... ”

The atmosphere in war-affected settlements is now even more hopeless and depressing since the quarantine measures have been introduced.  People are really afraid to leave their homes, not only because of shelling but also because of the fear of exposure to the virus. CBN-Emmanuel’s team continues to implement its project aimed at fighting the spread of coronavirus and helping hundreds of elderly people stay at their homes.

We have survived almost 50 days of quarantine and we know that it is not easy not only for us, dear readers, but also for you as well. One way or another, we continue to live, work and try to get used to this new reality, even if we do not like it.

And we know for sure, that there are people around who experience much more difficult circumstances – just like Valentyna.

Charity is something that can be done only by joint efforts of caring people. You can be one of these people to help our world survive the quarantine and the crisis.

You can make any comfortable donation and we will use these funds to buy food and soap for the most vulnerable elderly people living in war-affected eastern Ukraine.

Thank you!

Anna Chaban

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