Victor and Elena

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Thank you to all who have offered to help Elena and Victor after the house fire on Thanksgiving night. Your care, prayers, donations, and ideas of how you can assist are SO appreciated! Thankfully,Victor was released from Shriners Hospital before Christmas. He and his mom attended Christmas Eve services at AHUMC.

Victor has full medical coverage, and Elena had adequate home and contents insurance. However, Elena only had a basic level of health care insurance; she has a high deductible that she herself must meet, and she did sustain injuries in the fire. Her neighbors and church family set up a fund at US Bank for these upcoming and additional expenses. Deposits to the “Elena and Victor” fund can be made at ANY US Bank location, either under the name of the account, or the account number: #130119427131. The account is being managed with the utmost care and integrity. Elena will receive 100% of the funds. For any questions, please email Vic or Sue Black, or Laura Burger and once again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Many people have already volunteered to help as needs arise. If you want to be put on that list, click here. We also post regular updates on the situation on our Church Facebook Page

Media coverage:

Channel 9's report from 12/19/13 can be seen here

Channel 12 did a story on Victor. You can click here to see it: Local 12 story

To see more about Victor and Elena's journey to America  click here

From Victor's Teacher

Yes Anderson Township, there is a Santa Claus

Yes Anderson Township, there is a Santa Claus. Santa Claus is the spirit of giving. It is the spirit of a mother, Elena, who despite all the challenges she faces raising a child with special needs and works so hard to finally have a house, gives her support and love to others, especially to those who teach Victor. It is the spirit of Anderson High School students who fundraiser for one of their peers suffering from burns by selling luminary kits. It is the spirit of a Church, who provides resources to get a young boy from Bulgaria medical care, prayers, accessible van, and support. It is the spirit of our country for a mother and son lucky to get a lottery to come to America for help. It is the spirit of the CHMC Perlman Center to assist Victor with a device so he can communicate. It is the spirit of the parents of children with special needs in Victor's class who offer to help,
Yes, Anderson Township, there is a Santa Claus...
It is the spirit of so many in our community and beyond who to want to give.

Blessed, Susie Giesting

Updates from Elena

1/6/14  Victor is doing very well. I hope this week he will resume his usual schedule and go back to school. We already make short trips to Kroger and some other shops. Often people will stop us and show us their concern and empathy. To all of you that supported us with prayers, love and any other way THANK YOU!!!! We can never tell you enough what a difference you made in our lives. Your help made everything more bearable. Because of your kindness and encouragement I am looking forward with hope to what tomorrow might bring. I truly believe that your prayers changed the outcome for my son and saved him a lot of pain and suffering. For this, for all your loving support and help I can only say "Thank you with all my heart". May God give you the reward for your kindness and generosity. May God bless you and protect you each day of this year and always.
Elena and Victor

12/16 We are already talking discharge here!!! "I will be home for Christmas" just like the song said.... I can't wait to resume some kind of normal life. For now I am learning to change Victor's bandages and clean his face. We are gradually taking him off the narcotics and reducing the painkillers. Tomorrow, all the doctor will take the remaining staples form the graft. Although, I can see the light in the tunnel, I can tell that this particular tunnel is going to be a long one. Today, I learned that just because Victor will not have a graft of his face, does not mean that he will avoid scarring of the face. I hope that the scar will be according to God's mercy, not the extend of Victor's burns... Whatever happen, he will always be my perfect boy.

12/15 I have good news again and I hope this time it is final. VICTOR WILL NOT HAVE A FACIAL GRAFT.... end of story.Today Dr. Jackoboff took off the bandages and said that the graft of the hands is looking well, although it is still fragile. Therefore he did not take off all the staples. The donor site also looks well... Everything looks well but it is hard to watch.... especially if it is your child. I believe that we will stay at least one more week. Dr Jackoboff wants to have Victor's face completely healed before the discharge so at home, I will have to deal only with the hands. This along, is a job for at least two very strong individuals. One to hold my strong, stubborn and feisty son and the other one, while helping holding him, to clean the hands and do the bandages... Believe me, this is NOT easy - physically and emotionally. We will make it, of course, but I still need your support in prayers for both of us. So Victor and I, and all of you who prayed so hard for us) did receive our Christmas miracle after all. Thank you but most of all THANK YOU GOD.

12/10 Grafting was done on Victor's hands today. Here we are on the roller-coaster of life.... today Dr Jackoboff was not so optimistic about Victor's face... He might need a facial graft after all....

12/9 The first step of the graft of Victor was just done. I cannot thank you enough for the prayers...... He will NOT need a graft on his face only both hands. Thank you. Thank you God!!!! This is the best Christmas present for both of us. It will be a painful recovery but we will make it. The hand that is most affected has all the tendons intact. Thank you God for this too!!! Please, don't stop praying. There is great power in your prayers. Thank you God for listening!!!

12/8 Tomorrow Dr. Jackoboff will make the first step of the surgery, which is preparing the site that will be grafted (cutting off the part of the skin that will not regenerate). The next day, skin from the donor site (his thigh) will be taken and implanted where needed. While Victor is under anesthesia they will deep scrub his face to see what is under the dried lymph. Please, keep prying because Victor's face is healing better than anticipated. Now the prospective of avoiding a facial skin graft is looking more realistic. If facial graft is not needed taking skin from his other thigh will not be needed - something to be considered since the donor sight is as painful as the burn.

12/7/13 There is no final decision on skin grafts for Victor. I will be meeting with doctors early next week.We are being well cared for by friends and neighbors. We will post updates as we get them. 

12/3/13 Victor is improving. The swelling on his face is noticeably less. Today, some of the nurses  told me that I look great. If you see me you will understand that this is something which at this point one can hear only in a Burn Unit... joke aside...what this mean is that my improvement is dramatic. Nevertheless, I see how people outside the hospital are staring at me... good thing I am used to that with Victor.
Today, I went for the first time to my house for a meeting with one of the insurance adjusters and the investigator. The meeting itself went well but it was hard to see the devastation of my, almost, achieved dreams and hopes.
I got extremely lucky with my neighbors. You could not find more kind, caring and empathetic people to live among. While my house have burned badly, God have build so many bridges between a lot of people that barely knew each other before that.... and in the end when our time comes to leave this word, we will not take our houses with us but we will carry the love that we gave and received... Don't you think that there is something symbolic that the fire happened on Thanksgiving?! As if God wanted to show me that by losing, you might gain the real things which are worth to be thankful for. God Bless You ALL.