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What kind of associations you have when you hear the word hospice? Perhaps death? Children die in every hospice – that is the reality, however, employees of the Children’s Hospice in Saint-Petersburg try to illumine the life of terminally ill children, to help parents care for their children and to overcome stress. Such practice is called palliative (from the Latin pallium – the veil) therapy – a system of measures aimed at maintaining the quality of life of patients with incurable and life-threatening diseases at the highest possible for a given patient’s condition. Children’s Hospice in Saint-Petersburg – a unique place, since it is the only Russian medical institution providing a full range of palliative care, which includes medical, psychological, social and spiritual support. It is worth noting more than 50 thousand children are in need of palliative therapy in Russia, but many of them do not get it for several reasons, one of which is that the therapy is a new branch of medical treatment in my country. In 2006, with the support of the governor of Saint-Petersburg Medical Institution “Children’s Hospice” was established. 40 employees were visiting children all around the city, serving about 200 families in total. The building of the former orphanage on Babushkina street in Saint-Petersburg was transformed into a palace for children or as it seemed to me into the house of light. The word “care” is replaced by the word “love” here, and everyone involved in the therapy brings into focus the life, happiness and comfort of the children. The child is in the center of all processes and in loving hands inside this house of light. When one of the patients of the hospice dies, large candle ignites and the parents together with the staff of the hospice can say goodbye to the child in a special “sad” room. In 2015, the candle ignited 18 times … During the time of 2 months I was visiting Children’s hospice documenting the life of 5 children their. 10 pictures comprise the part of the big project. To the moment 4 out of 5 children I photographed died. Unfortunately that is inevitable in this kind of institutions. However I am sure they did not suffer inside the house of light.


Country : Russie
Place : Saint-Petersburg

Number of photos : 30