A few years ago, two days before Katya was due to give birth, she was told she would have a son with Down Syndrome. Immediately after the birth, doctors were insistent that she should leave her child at the maternity ward. Katya didn’t agree.


She found support in her parents and among close friends. That is how the long journey in the battle for life and health for Nikita began. Nikita is six now, he has Down Syndrome and polycystic lung disease. In the past he had patent ductus arteriosus, a diaphragmatic hernia and benign growth in pleural cavities. He has undergone a total of 5 operations, 30 general anaesthetics, 21 days on life support with AL (artificial lung ventilation) and a year and a half of tracheostomy. On top of that he can’t chew and hasn’t been able to walk since he was four.

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Katya with her son walking near their home

Nikita is unhappy because he wasn’t allowed to swim

Nikita really loves to sit in a bath full of bubbles. It’s an obligatory daily routine

Nikita’s grandfather especially decorated his room in maritime style

Nikita likes classical music, in particular Mozart. On the wall is a picture of Nikita by artist Anton Shramenko

Nikita can eat only pureed food given his inability to chew

Nikita doesn’t have close friends in the courtyard outside his home

Katya plays with her son in the playground near their home

Nikita with a young acquaintance at the aquarium

Katya with Nikita at the zoo

Instruction before his first therapy session

Katya and Nikita strolling in the park not far from home