"Mom Is with You All the Time": the Child Who Survived After the Shelling of the Ukrainian City Has Found a New Family and Continues Treatment

February 10, 2015, became the second birthday of the three-year-old Klim from Kramatorsk, Donetsk region. Together with his mother, a child on the street came under fire during the shelling of a peaceful city by militants from the antiaircraft installations “Smerch”. Mother covered the baby with her body and died from the shards. The child miraculously survived, receiving many serious wounds. For two years after this tragic event, the life of Klim, who left without a mother, has changed a lot.

Five-year-old Klim has been undergoing medical treatment for two years, recovering his health after the shelling - boy’s head, arms and legs are injured by the splinter wound. Father and volunteers are next to the boy, but the child was without maternal love and caress. Everything changed after the appearance of Kharkov resident Tatiana Shatohina.

Acquaintance with Klim

Tatiana met Klim and his father when the child was transferred from Kramatorsk to Kharkov for treatment. Her 12-year-old daughter, Nastya, was treated in the same hospital, where the boy was, but only in the inpatient care. After she learned that there is in the next room a child who survived the shelling, the woman, along with her daughter, asked to see him.

"Precisely Nastya first loved the baby and asked to visit him even after she was discharged," Tatiana recalls, who too has become attached to Klim. They became visit the child in the hospital often, bringing fruit and toys, and even just peeked to talk. That time Klim had a lot of attention from completely strangers who were ready to respond to someone else's grief.

Then the child was discharged, and together with his father, they went to Kramatorsk. The Shatohin family continued to be friends with Klim and his father Alexander in the distance. Together with friends in late summer 2015, Tatiana found a clinic in Kiev, where the boy had another operation. The baby was brought in Kharkov to the rehabilitation center for procedures. It was in November of the same year.

Father and child had to live somewhere, and there was no money to rent a house, taking into account the fact that all the funds went for treatment. Tatiana invited Alexander to stay in her apartment, and herself along with daughter moved to her parents for this time.  By that time, Tatiana was actively engaged in solving the problems of treating of Klim and increasingly became a part of the family, supporting the father of the child and the baby.

A new family for Kramatorsk boys

Tatiana and Alexander thought about the fact that it's time to create a family when they together took Klim to an operation in Germany. Then costly treatment was paid for by the charitable foundation.

By the spring of 2016, Alexander moved to Kharkov, began to look for work. He took the eldest son Saveliy, who all this time lived with his relatives. Brothers, who lost their mother in such tragic circumstances, now began to live together again.

Tatiana and Alexander decided to live together in the autumn of last year, and in December they officially registered bonds of marriage. The women's family of the Shatohin, who before that consisted of a daughter and a mother, was replenished by three men: five-year-old Klim, eight-year-old Saveliy and their father Alexander. All of them are housed in a one-room apartment, folding beds became sleeping beds that are removed for a day and put back for a night. Nastya began to share a desk with her brother Saveliy.

Tatiana's daughter-teenager has long asked for a sister, but now she has two brothers at once.

"Of course, we need to expand. It is a bit cramped on a one-room apartment, - Tatiana reflects. "Another desk will be needed, Klim will be six in May, and it is time to get ready for school. The three of them can not fit at the one desk. And there is no place to put the desk. But these are all secondary issues, now the main thing is to heal Klim."

Money for treatment was raised by the whole world

When Klim traveled to Germany for the first time, the doctors did a full examination. An urgent operation was required on the arm, the leg could wait, and doctors did not advise to take the shard out of the head. This operation would not return lost 50% of vision for one eye, and the brain, fortunately, was not touched. Doctors were ready to do leg surgery in September of last year, but then the family did not have money for treatment.

On February 10, 2017, in memory of the tragedy, Tatiana Shatohina posted a post on Facebook that Klim still needs treatment. Details, where to transfer money, did not specify. Not indifferent people from Kramatorsk responded the first. They decided to raise money in a festive fair dedicated to Maslenitsa. In the Klim’s native city people organized a tent where they sold toys that were brought by families specifically in order to raise the money for the treatment of Klim. And although the weather that day was rainy, the fair was a success; almost 10 thousand hryvnias were collected for Klim.  

The activity of the Kramatorsk activists was the starting point for collecting money for the operation for Klim. When the press joined in and the history of Klim was told to the whole country, money was sent by different amounts not only from the cities of Ukraine but also from France, Estonia, Germany. So for two months, it was possible to collect almost 14 thousand euros.

"Today we have the happiest news - the collection of funds for the operation of Klim's leg closed," Tatiana Shatohina wrote on Facebook. - All this became possible thanks to thousands of good people from different countries. With all my heart I wish each of you peace, health and good. Let the desired dreams come true, all children will be healthy and no one else will suffer from the war. The amount of 13,950 euros is collected at the moment."

The Klim’s family expresses gratitude for the advances made to the clinic account by people's deputies Maria Ionova and Irina Gerashchenko who transferred 4000 euros and to ChildFund Deutschland e.V. (Natalia Zvyagintseva) for a contribution of 2000 euros. In Germany, fundraising was also organized, thanks to Konstantin Schmidt. Tatiana and Alexander are sincerely grateful to all those who helped raise money for Klim.

Unfortunately, while they collected money, Klim's health deteriorated. The injured leg became to hurt, the child is at home practically all the time and he does not attend kindergarten. When only half of the required amount was collected, the family sent an enquiry to Germany with a request to queue up for an operation. At first, it was planned that Klim will go to Germany in the summer, but because of the aggravation, the doctors agreed to go on helping and scheduled an operation on April 25, 2017. The whole family is now looking forward to another operation for Klim, which will allow him to run again.

"Mom is with you all the time"

In a new family, they try not to remember once again about the tragedy in Kramatorsk to not to disturb the boys. But if they themselves need to discuss, then they try not to keep silent. The eldest, Saveliy, sometimes tells Tatiana that his mother also did things like this to him, remembering, for example, a time when he was sick.

When Tatiana drove Klim to hospitals, the doctors always called her mother, not really delving into the history of the child. Klim asked her once: "Will not my mom be offended if I call you “mom”?

"Mom is with you all the time," Tatiana as she could, explained to the boy that his own mother even in heaven is watching Klim and Saveliy, supports them and continues to love.

Klim does not call Tatiana “mom” and addresses by name.

Tatiana, who has accepted the family of two children with their father, continues to admire the courage of the little Klim. For two years, this child stands up all the difficulties of treatment, which not every adult could withstand. He patiently stands the pain, cries rarely. There is, of course, the downside of the medal - it's difficult to understand what exactly is going on in the soul of Klim, who has suffered a lot at his five years.

His dream today is to be able to run like other healthy children. So he waits for the operation, ready to stand the pain and limitations. After surgical intervention, a cast will be applied to the leg and fixed in a special construction for more than two months. Then it will be necessary to fly to Germany again to remove the cast. Klim is set to positive - overcoming difficulties, he is approaching his dream.