Everyone stops at the Crucifixion near the convent’s church in honour of the Reigning icon of the Mother of God. This artistic composition was performed by Ilya Kiryanov, the sculptor of the mosaic workshop. The Kiryanov family is large. Ilya and his wife Olga believe that their youngest daughter Sophia is alive thanks to prayers to Saints Valentina of Minsk and Sofia of Slutsk. Olga recalls:
– We expected that our daughter would be born on September 30, but she was born on July 7. There was placental abruption, and this is an unpredictable phenomenon.The situation is very dangerous: the child is deprived of maternal blood, oxygen, and therefore is born handicapped. At this stage of prematurity, the statistics are just creepy: children have a high risk of developing cerebral palsy, vision problems, hearing problems, and mental handicap.
The ambulance took us. In the hospital, while they were preparing me for the operation, my husband was wandering the hall confusedly, and some woman advised him to go to church and pray. Ilya drove to the cathedral and knelt at the relics of Sophia of Slutsk until they called and informed him that their daughter was born alive.
I was in intensive care. The attending physician did not give any predictions about our daughter. Then, in an interview, he said that some babies receive all the necessary help, and still go to the other world, while weaker babies, with low chances of survival, recover; that intensive care is a place where not everything is decided by doctors.
Little Sonya was baptized on the third day.The priest who performed the sacrament assured the crying mother that everything would be fine, that all the children whom he baptized in intensive care survived. And it was easier for Olga herself, because they could already pray for the child in the Church.
Prognosis at first was disappointing.The child was in intensive care of the center “Mother and Child”. Usually parents are allowed to visit their babies in such situations once a week, but Sophia’s parents were allowed to come every day. The girl gained 2.5 kilograms of weight necessary for transferring to another department faster than the doctors predicted – in just two weeks.
– When the daughter was in intensive care, the whole our family went to the grave of Mother Valentina. We were reading an akathist together, and watering the grave with our tears. We continued to pray to saint every day, and I brought a pillow with flower petals from the resting place of Saint Valentina of Minsk to my daughter in intensive care.
The doctor told us that the child had heart problems, but after a few days the cardiologist did not find any problem, and this was the first miracle. The second is that we avoided eye surgery, which is usually done so that the child does not become blind.Exceptions are very rare, but thanks to prayers we avoided this, we were prescribed just eye drops. We were discharged without diagnoses. The resuscitator said: things like that don’t just happen. He continues to keep in touch with us, because this case is surprising for him.
Sophia is five years old; she does not have problems with weight and height that are common for premature babies. Sophia is a tall and strong girl, she is engaged in the karate section; a speech therapist notes her perseverance and curiosity.
After all this, we also went to the grave of Mother Valentina and thanked her. Any resuscitator will say that our case is a real miracle!
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds