I owe my life to Caritas

Lefter is one of the people accommodated in the Good Samaritan shelter of Caritas Ruse. A former footballer by profession, he arrived at the shelter following an unfortunate coincidence.

Whenever they are not busy with cleaning and arranging their rooms and the canteen or with garden work and other activities – part of the occupational therapy program, most of the people in the shelter spend their time chatting over a cup of coffee. These are their little joys of life. Lefter, however, is not one of them. He does not like coffee, neither smoking, nor joins loud talks of others. He has focused and invests all his efforts in his desire to walk again normally.

When he finished his active sports career, Lefter took any kind of employment. He managed to have a decent life. One day, however, while walking down the street, he had a stroke. The entire left half of his body is paralyzed. He spent 5 days in hospital and was discharged in a condition where he was helpless. He was refused admittance to other healthcare institutions. Lefter was unable to walk, not even to climb the stairs to his home. This is how he arrived at the “Good Samaritan” shelter.

  • “I was unwanted elsewhere. If it were not for Caritas, I would have been dead already.”

In addition to welcoming him, they found him a doctor and with his help, Lefter began to move around again. He is now walking with a cane. He says that his walk recovery, from a medical point of view, was almost a miracle, but he makes exercise every day and does not let himself be bed stricken. He faces yet another surgery and although he is not health insured and cannot afford to pay it, Lefter is optimistic.

  • “In two or three months I will walk without a cane and I will no longer be here.”

He plans to live at his friends’ place and restart his life.

  • “I have been separated with my wife for many years. I have two sons, but we do not get along. One of my sons spent everything on gambling, my other son has also taken a wrong path. But I have a call from my wife regularly, we help each other. She resides and works in Greece.”

Saying it, Lefter tentatively takes out from a nylon bag an old black-and-white photo made in a photo studio. A family picture. He, his wife and their two son – all groomed in their finest clothes. He looks at the picture with a sad smile:

  • “Once I had everything. I was a great stuff.”

A heavy sigh is heard from his chest. He carefully puts back the photo, takes the cane, and with a gaze into the remove distance takes on further movement exercise. With slow but sure strides.