When 15-year-old Nikita arrived into Shannon Airport last Tuesday, it was evident to his loving host family, Sheelagh and Richard Hogan, that his care needs had increased and his independent mobility was laboured in comparison to last summer. Nikita had travelled from Belarus as part of the Chernobyl Children International Rest & Recouperation Programme, which brings children to host families in Ireland every summer.
Concerned about his mobility and in order to give him the most comfortable time in Ireland, the Hogan’s made contact with MMS Medical for the temporary loan of a wheelchair. However, upon meeting Nikita and hearing how he was abandoned at birth to live in an orphanage, MD of MMS, Gearoid O Herlihy, gifted the wheelchair to Nikita to bring home with him to Belarus!
Photographed collecting the wheelchair at MMS Medical Head Office in Little Island Cork are Barth Buckley MMS, Sheelagh Hogan-Host Family, Nikita & Gearoid O’Herlihy M.D. MMS. Nikita is delighted with his new comfortable chair which means he can enjoy his time in Ireland even more so! Testing out his new wheels then on a trip to Mahon Point Shopping Centre Cork.
Chernobyl Children International Rest & Recouperation programme.
Chernobyl Children International offers programmes designed to give sick children the respite they need from the radioactive environment in which they are forced to live. Volunteer host families throughout Ireland have given more than 25,500 children the opportunity to enjoy a recuperative stay away from the debilitating environment in which they live.
This is the charities longest running programme and its success is due to the commitment and goodwill of host families throughout Ireland who receive these children into warm and loving home environments.
Being able to escape a radioactive, highly toxic environment for just a few weeks extends each child’s life by an estimated two years, and reduces their contamination levels by 30 to 50 percent. Just as important, these children return to their communities with the comforting knowledge that the outside world has not forgotten about them.
As more and more volunteers have opened their arms to these children over the years, the initiative has gone from strength to strength, becoming the inspiration for similar programmes throughout the world.
Chernobyl Children International (CCI) was formally established by Adi Roche in 1991 to give support and hope to children living in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear disaster.
For the latest on Chernobyl Children International see www.chernobyl-international.com/news/