Stories of Change

Haserat Beriša. Photo courtesy Center for Youth Integration.

Love overcame fear for Haserat’s family

During a recent visit to an informal Roma settlement in Belgrade, we stopped in to see the Beriša family. They’ve invited us to their modest home and want to show us how they’ve cleaned and decorated it to welcome home their son Haserat, who is coming out of the hospital. Everybody’s in a great mood and very excited about his return home.

For the Berišas and their neighbors, going to the hospital was unacceptable and scary only a couple of months ago. Now it had become a regular activity. Here’s what happened:

After many years of trying to organize a full medical exam and scheduling a heart surgery for the boy, we’re finally only one step away from our goal. There were many obstacles during this process, like incomplete medical documentation and ups and downs in his parent’s motivation to accept this surgery.

Now it is all behind us. The willpower for living and recovery was stronger than the fear of a fatal outcome from the surgery.

CWS supports two Drop-In Shelters for Roma children like Hasaret. The shelters are a safe place where children can play, study, eat, bathe and get clean clothes. The shelter teams also help the children’s families access social services like schools and healthcare. A professional team of shelter staff did all that they could to make this surgery possible and to create a better tomorrow.

In cooperation with the nurse and medical team, the outreach team has organized all the necessary exams before Hasaret’s surgery. They scheduled his admission to the hospital. A teacher and a psychologist have talked to Hasaret’s parents about further plans and needed appointments for a successful surgery and healing. His parents’ motivation was falling as they learned more about the risks and details of the surgery. However, the medical staff were so supportive from the beginning to the end. They kept in close contact with Haserat’s parents every day to keep them informed and comfort them about the process.

Haserat’s surgery was a success. He had to stay in the hospital for awhile to recover. During his hospital stay, the shelter team provided hygiene products and clean clothing for Haserat and arranging visits from his family. Over time, his parents were able to arrange their own visits. They became motivated to help Haserat realize how important his recovery in the hospital was.

Love and care overcame the fear of the unknown that had loomed large. It wouldn’t have happened without the team’s thorough and urgent work.

After all of that, the best moment was when Haserat’s mom sad, “I can find peace now knowing he is healthy.”