"I didn't give up thanks to my mom"

"I didn't give up thanks to my mom"
"I didn't give up thanks to my mom"

In February 2008, Olesya Vladykina went to Thailand with three friends. In a car accident, one of the girls died, and Olesya lost her arm.

“I didn’t give up thanks to my mother…”

The outgoing year was not easy. We were worried about political and economic events, discussed, made plans and, of course, hoped that everything was for the best … But for the three families who agreed to share their stories with "DO", all these important world events turned out to be quite insignificant against the backdrop of what happened at home.

In February 2008, Olesya Vladykina went to Thailand with three friends. In a car accident, one of the girls died, and Olesya lost her arm.

Olesya Vladykina is 20 years old. She is a Muscovite, a beauty and an athlete, moreover, the owner of the Olympic gold medal in swimming competitions and the world record holder. At the end of the summer, after returning from Beijing, she, along with other athletes of our national team, was received in the Kremlin by the President of Russia.

But a little over a year before that, Olesya gave up swimming, to which she gave 10 years of her life. She decided to go to school, got a job and didn't even think about any medals.

In February 2008, she, along with her three best friends Sasha, Olya and Marina, went to Thailand to relax, and at the same time celebrate her birthday, which falls on Valentine's Day - February 14th. “We decided to start such a tradition,” says Olesya's mother. - I myself go somewhere for my birthday, I wanted my daughter to have a special holiday every year. Two years ago she celebrated her birthday with her friends in Egypt, but this time they chose Thailand.” Natalya Dmitrievna, who works in a travel agency, donated money for the trip and chose an excellent hotel for the girls.

February 27, the news reported: “A bus with Russian tourists overturned in Thailand. There are victims." This story did not become especially loud, taking its place in a series of similar accidents. But for the Vladykin family, everything changed in one second. “When I came to my senses in a mangled bus,” says Olesya, “I found that almost nothing was left of my left hand. Only blood gushing. At first I thought: I can’t live like this! Then came the next thought: dying is so scary! We must get up and go. And when I got up, I saw that my friend Sasha Malochueva, who was sitting next to me, had died. I live, albeit without a hand - Lord, forget about it - but I live. And Sasha will not be able to see anything. And then everything in my life began to build on this. Trying to live for two.”

Olesya was taken to a hospital in Bangkok, where it turned out that it was impossible to save her hand - the injuries were too severe. She was even shown this hand - in order for her to be convinced of this. “Thai doctors,” Olesya explains, “understood what it was like to be left without an arm at the age of 20. And I think they did the right thing. If I hadn’t seen everything with my own eyes, I could still regret that I didn’t try to return it, sew it on … But now I know for sure that nothing could be done. On the way to the operating room, she only thought about how to tell her mother about everything. After all, when she cannot return home in two days, mother will be very worried. At that moment, she did not yet know that her mother was already on her way to Thailand.

“I had no premonition,” says Natalia Dmitrievna. - The day after the accident, I had to fly on a business trip to the Czech Republic. On the morning of the twenty-seventh, she calmly got up, went about her women's affairs - manicure and so on. And when she returned, a colleague from work called: "Natasha, the bus turned over in Thailand, in my opinion, Olesya is there." He said it so easily, as if joking, but not a word about the fact that someone died.”

She started calling the Russian consulate. The consul said that all four girls were fine, but Olesya had injuries. What - did not explain. And already on the way to the airport, another call came from the consulate with the news that Sasha Malochueva, Olesya's closest friend, had died. “I started to get hysterical,” recalls Natalya Dmitrievna. - What then is actually with Olesya? Fracture what? Spine? Traumatic brain injury? All sorts of thoughts entered my head. I had not yet taken off when Sasha's older sister called me: "It's not true? It can't be like that?" And my eyes are already swollen with tears…”

And all 10 hours of the flight she tried to control herself, to think that Olesya was alive - and this is the main thing. I rushed to the hospital - it suddenly turned out to be chic, with the latest equipment, comfortable rooms and even a piano in the hall. And, although I was traveling with the intention of taking my daughter home (even agreed with the Moscow hospital), I realized that there was no such need. For a whole month, mother and daughter stayed in the same ward of a Thai hospital. We survived four operations, treatment, and most importantly, we talked all the time about the future life. They made plans for a prosthetic arm, and Olesya gradually calmed down and came to her senses.

On March 22 they returned to Moscow. And two weeks later Olesya came to the pool. The coach called her and suggested that she try swimming again. Olesya decided to return to sports - now to the Paralympic. She began to train immediately and decisively, together with coach Sergey Zhilkin, changing technique on the go, adapting it to one hand. And exactly five months later, after a fantastically short period for an athlete, she already went to the Paralympic Games in Beijing as part of our team. She went to win - in memory of her friend Sasha, with whom they trained together for many years. Near, as always, was a beloved mother.

“When we got to the Paralympic Games,” says Natalia Dmitrievna, “it was as if compensation came from life. We got to know many interesting people. At first, of course, it was hard. I am a typical representative of our people who does not really know anything about the life of the disabled. As it happens with us: he saw a disabled person - he grimaced and his mood deteriorated from the fact that his gaze fell on "such". And here we met amazing people who laugh, joke, play each other … At first it amazed me. Olesya adds that she felt “royal” in Beijing - she heard compliments from athletes, volunteers, coaches and complete strangers. It made her feel so good and light that even her gait changed. After returning to Moscow, I had to get used to the fact that no one pays attention, everyone averts their eyes. On that main Olympic day for her, she swam the hundred-meter breaststroke. And no one, not the coach, and she herself, did not expect those numbers that froze on the scoreboard after her swim. It was a world record - and, of course, the champion's gold medal. Incredible result. Apparently, Sasha Malochueva and her memory really helped.

“Earlier,” says Natalya Dmitrievna, “before the accident, when Olesya was swimming, I dreamed: it would be great to get to the Olympics, win a medal. No wonder they say: be afraid of the realization of dreams. Yes, my dream came true, but what was it worth…” Over the time that has passed since the accident, Olesya has matured. Mom claims that her daughter has become wise - even a wisdom tooth began to grow. At first, everyone tried to help Olesya - friends, relatives, girlfriends. And then they realized that it was useless. Olesya tries to do everything herself. Natalya Dmitrievna also adds that she is proud and admires her daughter. The way she knows how to say “no”, and easily talk to officials, and always seek justice. Olesya claims that now her mother is her best friend and adviser in many matters. “Look at Mom! I love the way she looks, the way she dresses - I admire her!”

Natalya Dmitrievna admits that for the New Year she will only think of one thing - that all her loved ones are alive and well, that Olesya meets a good groom and gets married, that everything is fine with her son Kolya. But Olesya, quite the contrary, dreams know no boundaries. She is going to train further, because she realized that swimming is a calling, since it was it that brought her back to life. And yet, she always dreamed of becoming … an astronaut. “Here you are laughing,” he says, “and I am serious. I dream even now. There are also space tourists. Why don't I fly into space then?”

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