July 11, 2019

Illness has taken a foothold in the home of the Popadic family from Akmacici by Nova Varos

“A healthy person has a thousand wishes, but the ill, only one.” These words were penned long ago by Anton Chekhov, and they were the first to come to mind when we visited the Popadic family from Akmacic by Nova Varos. Sadly, all of the members of this wonderful family have problems with their health, but, surprisingly, you wouldn’t notice one bit of pessimism and glumness in them. The Popadic family includes the father Dragan, mother Spomenka, and children Danijela (20), Andrijana (17) and Jovan (9). The father, Dragan, has a head injury which from time to time triggers temporary blindness, forcing him to sit down immediately. Mother Spomenka had to have her kidney removed and has problems with her thyroid gland. The middle daughter Andrijana has had surgery on her left knee, and the surgery on her right knee is coming up. She is temporarily at a Children’s Home in Pozega where she attends school. Son Jovan has DiGeorge syndrome and has undergone a head and palate surgeries. He also has hearing tube implants and has speech difficulties. His caring parents and even more caring sisters watch over him. It is not by chance that we mention last the oldest sister Danijela. As they told us in their own words, “Danijela has been hit by everything.” She has had two spine surgeries because of scoliosis, two knee surgeries, and two surgeries for her vocal cords and tonsils. The last surgery was one month before our visit. In the past, she has taken growth hormones. Despite of it all Danijela is, by our impression, the pillar of this family because of her positive energy and will for life which brings serenity to their household and gives strength to everyone. The Popadic’s definitely have something genetically causing all these illnesses and problems, but that’s not their only trial. They live in poverty in an old and rundown house. The first thing we noticed when we arrived was the “bare” concrete on which we stood and which covers the entire ground floor of their home. The millwork is old, does not work properly, and since the wood fire oven is in poor condition, the inside of the house is pretty cold. How this feels in the winter time in this area known for long and cold winters, we can only imagine. Closets, furniture, and appliances are worn and deteriorating. The entire family is even forced to sleep in one room. Social welfare and child support are the only income the Popadic’s have. They do have a plot of land which they cultivate with potatoes and other vegetable seeds for their own needs. They have one cow and four hens. All of that is not enough to fulfill the basic needs of this family, especially with the illnesses they are facing, not to mention to save money to invest in fixing the house. 5-6 years ago, someone stole their tools, but it was never discovered who it was. Truth be told many good people do extend a helping hand. From the church they received help many times, a few priests from Ljig and Nova Varos have specially engaged in helping them. The Center for Social Work from Nova Varos has helped in the past, along with many individuals. Unfortunately, no one was able to help them with these larger issues. The most significant help would be the renovation of the ground floor of the house where they live. New floors would have to be installed, new millwork installed, bedrooms to be repaired and renovated and perhaps another bedroom to be made. They asked us to help them with the bathroom renovation and installation of a shower cabin. Also, new furniture would have to be brought in. Certainly, one more cow along with more hens would be beneficial to the family. The parents wish to have a tractor, and the youngest Jovan, as many kids do, would like a computer or a tablet. These good people have experienced many troubles in their lives, so the Charity Organization Serbs for Serbs will try to secure as much help as it can in the near future.
You can join the effort in following ways: 

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