Yulia Yaroslavtseva, a minister of the Cornerstone Church, told Bog.News about the death of her brother and husband, the rethinking of human life and the desire to create a hospice.
Yulia Yaroslavtseva takes part in the development of ministry for families at the Cornerstone Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith (Novosibirsk), as an entrepreneur. In 2020, her brother Denis was diagnosed with periventricular leukomalacia. The Cornerstone Church has a so-called House of Healing, where people who have found themselves in difficult life situations and who are faced with diseases live.
Expecting a miracle, Julia transported her brother there, where for 8 months she took care of him.
“Denis developed stage III dementia, but he kept a smile and a feeling of love until the very end. It was hard for me, since no one taught me how to take care of a seriously ill person. I learned how to treat bedsores, give injections, wash and organize walks by watching videos on YouTube. It was then for the first time that the death of a loved one could be completely different: without torment, surrounded by love and care, ”said Yulia.
Despite her best efforts, Denis passed away. After the death of her brother, Julia, together with her husband, brought Catholic sisters of mercy to the House of Healing, who taught its inhabitants how to provide first aid and care for seriously ill patients.
After her brother’s funeral, Julia admits, she began to come across videos about palliative care. This topic captured her so much that she watched for hours everything related to helping seriously ill people.
“Even before the wedding, my husband and I had a dream, to build a House of Mercy, where medical personnel would work, and which would be based on Christian love for people. We prayed to make this dream come true. Then it seemed that the time had come for this, ”says Yulia.
Heaven is real
In early 2021, four months after asymptomatic COVID-19, her husband, Victor, was admitted to the hospital with a small intestine obstruction. Doctors discovered that he had more than 10 malignant tumors caused by large cell lymphoma.
“I was very much helped by my previous knowledge of nursing: I knew how to behave. Vitya was stomped and sent home, giving no hope for a miracle. When I found out about the diagnosis, I sobbed for two days, lying on the floor, and then got up and decided that I would not be broken. We often talked about how his life might end. These two and a half months were filled with honest conversations, declarations of love, struggle, work, smiles and tears, ”said Yulia.
During her illness, Julia took care of her husband, providing assistance even in medical institutions.
“Vitya left without painkillers after the second chemotherapy. All night I asked him three questions: “Vitenka, does it hurt? Are you scared? What’s with your faith? ” He replied: “It doesn’t hurt. Not afraid. Heaven is real, don’t worry, ”said the heroine.
After the death of her husband, Julia plunged into the world of palliative care (palliative (fr. Palliatif from lat. Pallium – pallium, veil, cloak, shroud of Christ). It was then that she decided to create a hospice in which seriously ill people can safely leave for eternity surrounded by their relatives and loved ones.
“Even then I knew that if everything that happened in my life did not make sense, it would be excruciatingly painful. We talked with my pastor, he had a desire for a long time to take care of those who are destined to leave, ”said Yulia.
Yulia believes that today seriously ill Russians and their relatives are faced with a shortage, and sometimes a complete lack of palliative care.
“Many patients remain in the care of relatives without any compassion on the part of the medical staff, since doctors who have burned out from work are unable to see the personality of a person behind the diagnoses. The approach of death is terrifying, and a person is unable to adequately assess reality and make the right decisions using the remaining time, ”said Yulia.
Hospice is not for the homeless
Julia plans to build a hospice for 15-20 people with living rooms for family and friends, with a large garden for walking and a veranda for heartfelt conversations.
“In my understanding, hospice is not about death, but about life until the end of life. Therefore, I want to make sure that our hospice becomes a place where it is not painful, scary and lonely. We plan to recruit a palliative care physician and nurses trained in palliative care. All staff are believers who confess Jesus Christ as their Lord. Moreover, the hospice will have a golden rule: you can live in a house of mercy as a Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, atheist, but you will still be embraced by the love of Christ, ”says Yulia.
She says she will not accept the homeless into the hospice.
The institution will accept only people who live in their homes, since it will be difficult for a person who is not used to living on the street to get along with people who are used to living without a roof over their heads. According to Yulia, most often, when faced with serious illnesses of relatives, people who are perceived by society as the middle class remain helpless.
Julia has already agreed with the Catholic charitable organization “Caritas” on joint activities. Friends of Yulia, having learned about her desire to help people, sponsor her trips to thematic events, declare their readiness to finance the construction and operation of the hospice, dozens of people want to become volunteers in the institution. Already now, relatives of seriously ill people are turning to the young lady with a request to teach them how to take care of their sick loved ones.
Julia noted that she has no medical education, but God helped her to form a team of Christian doctors who are ready to participate in the work of the hospice. Julia herself intends to deal with organizational issues.
“I also have a dream: to get the profession of a doula (a doula is a trained companion who are not health professionals but support another person) for the dying. This activity is not developed in Russia,” said the young lady.
Before starting work, Yulia went to Moscow to meet with representatives of the Vera charitable foundation.
“I wanted to enlist their support: to do like in the First Moscow Hospice – there is no atmosphere of a hospital or a death. Entering there, you understand that you have come home. When I was there, for some reason it smelled like watermelon, shampoo and it was homely and cozy. These are the things we tried to grasp and understand, ”said Yulia.
The Vera Foundation said that they were ready to take the hospice project in Novosibirsk under their wing, only after making sure of the seriousness of Yulia’s intentions.
The girl noted that for the full-fledged operation of the hospice, not only grant support is needed, but also regular financial contributions from the budget: for the payment of salaries to staff and the purchase of everything necessary.
“We also need government assistance to acquire land. The creators of the hospice in Ufa are ready to provide us with their project worth 25 million rubles for free. The Ufa architect is also ready to help us, ” Yulia said.
Alexey Kovalenok specially for GOD.NEWS