Brave mom wants to live

Update posted by Dino Ljutic On Jun 27, 2020

Cancer - what a brutal word - bringing pain from the very thought. But it is in my mind every day,

It took me a long time to understand the severity of the disease - of that word - when they first told me on February 17, 2017: “your wife has cancer. We can’t identify the primary cancer, but it is all over her body. She also has brain encephalitis. We have to birth her child now, because she won't last until the morning.”

Thousands of thoughts: how? Not… not her. She's pregnant and the child will never meet his mother. I will never see her again. Please, let me see her, if only once more. A thousand thoughts and words that cannot be blocked out. Yesterday we chose a stroller for baby Matias; today I choose a grave site. No, it cannot be...

I repeat to myself, I didn't hear correctly. I'm going to ask again. I want to call her, but her cell phone is in my pocket. I'm totally disoriented. There are no schools that can prepare you for this.

While I wander the hospital corridors and think, they are preparing her for childbirth. Doctors are racing, nurses are racing. They are going to try to save at least one life. Half of my family is lying on that operating table, in the hands of a surgeon. I am praying, cursing, all in one. What if...? How to return home and tell Marko that there is no more mom and no little brother? How can I tell my beloved how to come out of the hospital alive?

Around 7.15 pm Matias was born. As soon as I saw them pulling the incubator through the hallway I knew it was him. The doctor looked at me and called, “come, dad!” And then I breakdown, seeing Matias I started crying like a child. My sister held me, I hugged her and we both cried. Then Matias started crying too. I asked to take at least one photograph – worth millions to me, that one picture. It took maybe a minute, they were in a hurry to take Matias to neo-natal. While I was needed to sign a pile of papers - yet I don’t even know my name!

My sister stayed in the hallway waiting to see what happened to Ana and I signed the papers in the neo-natal department. The administration does not know my despair, sorrow and sadness...

Unfortunately, I didn't see Ana that night while I was signing the papers. She was taken to the intensive care unit. I'm eager to see her but it's already 9 pm and they don't allow it. Her condition is bad, she's not breathing, she's on ventilators. They say call in the morning.

You feel helpless and desperate. You try to gather yourself, go to the car and drive home. I break down while on the road at least a few more times. I don't know how I drove. I don't think I stopped at any traffic lights, I just walked ... I wanted to hug Marko. He is the only one I can physically hug and kiss at the moment. But he's already asleep, carefree, not knowing how life played ugly with mom and brother tonight... And how nothing will ever be the same again.

Of course I didn't sleep. At 5 o'clock in the morning I go to the Kamenita Vrata, pray, in the cold, fog, in the same clothes from yesterday. With the same - even worse - thoughts, no one around me. I want to call her on my cell phone again and I remember that I can't. The cell phone is with me; she is lying there. I just wanted to see her, kiss her at least one more time.

I arrive around 7am. The visits are from 4 pm, but they let me go for a short time. And again the tubes, the apparatus, the respirator, everything there could be was on her. Only she was not there. Silence, no movement, nothing from this woman full of will to live. Just the sound of a machine breathing for her. I ask them only one thing - if she wakes up, please bring her Matias. I don't want her to leave without at least meeting him. I get a nod in reply.

Two times I go to see Matias. The department allows me to be there at any time, aware of the situation. They do not want to make it difficult. They said, dad, come whenever you want. I ask to sleep upstairs, and so it was - Ana on the 3rd, Matias on the 4th floor. So far and yet so close, mother and child...

40 days. My home was a hospital, 3rd and 4th floor. In 40 days my nerves ate up 10 kilograms.

My first day at home I can’t stop thinking of either Matias or Ana. Matias came home after 40 days; Ana after four months. So many emotions, I truly cannot forget anything. If I wrote all I remember I would wind up with a book. Yet I am writing this to make it easier – or maybe even harder. Maybe I'm inflicting small pains on myself to alleviate the big ones... I don't know.

Maybe I am just searching to explain why…. Why?

Why? Because Ana would never give up on me, and while she's breathing I won't on her either. A long time ago we traversed this Mount Everest, and yet we are just at the beginning of the road.

Ana is getting better, but she is so sad. She suffers from seizures, her brain is badly damaged, but she works and thinks, and she sees more and more the problems and worries that eat me. I can't hide it, I never could. She always knew when something was bothering me, and now she still knows. But I keep silent or I lie, I don't want to bother her with finances, with my job, with problems of any kind. Although Ana is aware - as when she asked me when we would buy her cemetery plot. But she only wants to live and for me and the children to be happy... That's why I need your help. For Ana to be happy, I have to be happy, and I could never pretend, she knows me too well.

To alleviate her illness, and make life easier she must be happy.

Experimental treatment of neurocognitive rehabilitation is expensive and time consuming and requires a lot of personal research on the patient. These costs I can't even say, Of course, some faculties will probably never come back, but the goal is to alleviate and reduce the intensity of the seizures. Ultimately this would completely eliminate the seizures or bring them to remission, in order to continue and improve the patient's quality of life.

Unfortunately, everything has a price. From donations we buy basic, special food, supplements, vitamins, brain medicines, additional medicines that are not 100% covered, special creams for rashes, shampoos, itching creams, salves for swelling. All these are a side effect of medicines and therapy, but these are still small problems to be solved.

From Monday, I started working, with my thoughts all over the place both at home and at work. How and what to do?

There is a medical option here, but it is a long-term, experimental procedure on the brain. It’s unproven and would be a long-term approach, which would include all tests, multiple branches of medicine, and personal care. Costs run to over 100,000 euros per year, and the procedure is planned for 2 years or more. Unfortunately we do not have that money.

Why am I still trying though?

Because there is hope. While even one match exists, it can light all the candles in your life...

I have shared, called, prayed all I can. I'm exhausted, I'm losing strength. Without you, I can't continue to give more of myself any longer. Thank you to everyone who helps, who is there, because....

I just want Ana next to me and the children, happy smiling, no attacks. The four of us on this journey together, without fear. But everything has its price, for us this journey is an unfulfilled dream.

And how am I? Only God and I know that.

You can help the Ljutić family by making a payment to the bank account number opened in


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Iban: HR8623900013222243457

Ime: Dino ljutić

Poziv na broj 00 ili 99 - 111

OPIS PLAĆANJA: donacija

SWIFT CODE ZA INOZEMSTVO: HPBZHR2X

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