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Hospital room, in which life goes by painfully slow

14 April 2009 / 15:04:34  GRReporter
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Maria Spassova

The Bulgarian and Greek social ministers Emilia Maslarova nd Fani Petrelya visited Konstantina Kouneva in the Athenian hospital “Evangelismos,” where she is recovering for four months. The Bulgarian woman was splashed with acid on December 24th and since then she has severe external and internal injuries. The cruel attack against the syndicate member, who was also a secretary in the Cleaner and housekeepers Union, has shocked the Greek public. The Greek TV cameras in front of the “Evangelismos” hospital are more than the Bulgarian ones.

Konstantina Kouneva is staying on the tenth floor of the hospital and in front of her room door there are two uniformed policemen and one undercover. Her mother Elena Decheva greeted both Ministers, who were hesitating whether to enter the room or not. She urged them to enter with the words: “She knows that you are here and she wants to talk to you. We have been talking about you since yesterday.” Their meeting with the syndicate member took 10 minutes. All of us waited to find out how she is.

“Konstantina Kouneva does not look that bad. She is a very kind and fine person, with a very strong spirit, who wants to live and make plans for the future,” said on her way out of the hospital room Minister Maslarova. “She told me that back in the day schools were teaching children wisdom but this is long gone now,” said Minister Petrelya. The journalists were eager to find out more – So what else did she tell you when you parted? “We promised to each other to meet again but this time in Sofia, so we can sit and drink a coffee,” answered Minister Maslarova.

The officials are gone and we stayed a bit more in order to talk to the mother Elena Decheva and the sister Maria Atanasova. The eyes of the mother were full of tears and she did not say anything.

“Not long ago Konstantina had a surgery of the throttle. Yesterday she had some tests and we are very happy that the surgery was successful. Now, our biggest concern is the larynx. There is still a long way until she fully recovers,” says her sister Maria Atanasova (on the photo). Before her throttle surgery, Konstantina had three facial surgeries, which aimed to recover her lips, which she cannot move. Right now she has a device on her larynx, which allows her to speak. After her larynx surgery, she will slowly start eating alone.

We asked Maria how they are doing financially. She explained that they are paying regularly to the hospital. “But do not believe that there are big donations or free apartments, there is nothing like this,” tries to smile through tears Maria. Even Konstantina’s papers for her employment cannot arrive from Sofia to Athens for four months! We need them in order for Konstantina to be able to retire.

The medical team is working hard on Konstantina Kouneva’s recovery. The doctors respect her and they say that she has strong will to live and she does not want to give up. They are doing everything they can to rise her on her feet as soon as possible. This is her mother and sister’s biggest hope.

We part with few words for the Easter holidays. Of course, Elena will spend the holiday next to her younger daughter’s bed. Maria will take Konstantina’s son Emanuel and together with her family will go somewhere to celebrate.

On my way outside the hospital I saw a white poster, on which with black letters it was written “Solidarity with Konstantina Kouneva.” People walk by it fast and no one notices it. This life in the big city – fast motioned. Only on the tenth floor of “Evangelismos” hospital, life goes by painfully slow.  

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