Matvey Zakharenko has experienced a lot of difficulties during his short life. He was born in a placed called Tula, which is located just two hours away from Moscow.
While he was born with a slight case of jaundice, he was a happy and healthy child by all accounts. In order to overcome, doctors recommended that the child remain underneath a specialized lamp for specific periods of time.
The child was also supposed to have constant supervision during these treatments. However, one nurse elected to leave the room as Matvey’s treatment was underway and disaster took place as a result of this thoughtless decision.
A lamp exploded and burst into flame, leaving the little boy covered in various burns. He was stricken with severe burns when he was all of three days old and his parents were left to wonder what would come next.
As if this were not bad enough, Matvey’s 19 year old mother found out about the incident and when it became obvious that the little boy would need special care to survive, she decided that she no longer wanted him.
Since she was well aware of the fact that he would probably never be able to recover fully, she wanted no part of the treatments and surgeries that he would need.
Once word started to spread about Matvey’s ordeal, a number of people came forward to help. Various hospitals offered their assistance, as well as a wide range of volunteers, families and human rights activists.
Svetlana eventually adopted the child and she experienced opposition from another woman who was also willing to take on the responsibility of raising Matvey.