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Shoghik Nahapetyan

Shoghik Nahapetyan has two sisters and a brother. Because of her congenital problems, her parents took her to an orphanage from the hospital where she was born. Later when she was 18 she was not permitted to stay in the orphanage any more. She was moved to Gumri Nursing Home. Now she is 38 years old and for the first time in her life she feels like she has a family Her family includes the people around her and the nice and caring staff who provide every day care. When 1988 earthquake hit, dozens of buildings collapsed and in few minutes leveled to the ground. The Nursing Home was damaged too and the residents had to be moved for a while. Gumri is the second biggest city of Armenia and the entire area, including Gumri suffered most during the earthquake. Shoghik’s brother took her to his family, where she spent about a year.

At that time there was a lot of stigma in many families towards disabled people, one would not see disabled in public places and most of them were kept in their homes. Shoghik’s brother’s family members, particularly her sister in law, who was the main care provider, were having hard time having an invalid in their home: she was very different, they couldn’t take her out, she needed special care and conditions. Shoghik had to be taken back, but as the nursing home was not functioning yet, they took her to Sevan psychiatric hospital. Sevan is a small town close to the lake Sevan. Although disabled physically, Shoghik is capable mentally and that made her stay in Sevan horrible. However, due to her mental strength and will, she survived and later, when the Gumri nursing home was reopened, she was taken back. She did not want to tell us about her experience in Sevan and she didn’t have to: it was all in her eyes.

Here in Gumri Nursing home Shoghik feels happy as she obtained a lot of sisters and spiritual brothers who are taking a good care of her and treat her nicely. She turned to her roommates with a sign of deep and immense gratitude: “my surrounding society inspires me with a “flavor” of mother, sisters and friends. I am praying for all of them, who make me happy. I am not alone in this world. And I have a compete sense of feeling that I am in my home, with my family, being surrounded with such people, God bless them”.

In the end, Shoghik confessed that God is with her each and every minute. God never betrays her, and vice versa. “If not God, I would have given up long time ago”.





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