On Crossroads of Life

The sad reality of the Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) war (1988-1994) is that it wounded the soul of each person living there. It took away thousands of lives, and left children orphaned. Nothing is forgotten, but life goes on, and what else can we do? Some say they would rather have died in the war than continue to live as they do.

Armen is one of those people. Born in Hadrut town, he became a war veteran by age 21, traumatized psychologically and physically. During military action in Meliqashen village, he was seriously injured and his leg was surgically removed. It was 1993. His head and lungs were affected as well. Armen received medical assistance in Hadrut and Stepanavan hospitals. But another stab in the back was waiting at home. The girl he loved did not want contact with a handicapped man. Armen’s health was getting worse and worse. He did not want to communicate with people. In 2005 memory loss problems arose. Armen lived with his family, who were all very vulnerable. They were on the list for receiving an apartment until…

Someone finally heard his story when he was 35. Mareta Sargsyan, a nurse from Lady Cox Rehabilitation Center, visited Armen as part of a Jinishian Memorial Foundation project in Stepanakert. His mental and physical health was deteriorating.

Several days after his transport to Lady Cox Rehabilitation Center, Armen’s physical state and behavior started to change. He became more sociable, communicating with other handicapped people and participating in different trainings. This small but significant improvement let us hope that, with assistance from professional medical staff, Armen will heal and one day, he will be able to overcome health barriers independently and start loving and enjoying life again.

Many people like Armen in different parts of Nagorno-Karabakh need our support. We began offering health care to disabled individuals there in 2007. Last year alone, 300 outreach visits brought hope to 91 of the most vulnerable disabled Karabakh war veterans through appropriate, professional health care. Based on patient need, the Jinishian team provides medicine, equipment, medical care and psychological support. 

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