For 15 years, Vikaand Denis Artiyukhin of Vladivostok, Russia, served faithfully on the staff of that church of about 200 members. One Saturday morning, two years ago, as Vikawas arriving early to prepare for a preteen event, she put her bag down on atable in the church hall and suddenly collapsed to the floor in a coma. Denis and those nearby saved her life by providing artificial respiration until the ambulance team arrived. She was clinically dead for some time. It is a miracle that she lives to this day, defying the prognoses of her doctors. Their verdict was as cold and sterile as the corridors of an empty hospital – “Vika’s life cannot be saved, it is only a matter of time before she will pass away.” Unfortunately for patients in Vika’s situation in our country, we lack the necessary expertise, resources and strength for their rehabilitation.

This may be the most moving story of love and faithfulness that I have ever heard. It’s a story of the faithfulness of our brotherhood, of support, unprecedented unity and solidarity in prayer and incredible answers from God, which began as an unthinkable tragedy – the kind you just can’t get your head around.

This turn of events has not derailed Denis, however, nor Denis’ and Vika’s friends throughout Russia. Every day, Denis continues to battle for the life of his beloved wife, in spite of the less than optimistic views held by their doctors. Step by step he has helped Vika progress from a state of complete paralysis to the point where she can now be sat up in a car, and be taken outside for walks in a wheelchair. Vika began to eat from a spoon and to drink through a straw. Even with a tracheotomy, Vika regained the ability to pronounce a few words, and her vocabulary is increasing. Her attending physicians continue to express surprise and talk about her progress as nothing short of a miracle.

And then came a turning point: the removal of Vika’s tracheotomy. Praise God! This means that her rehabilitation can progress much faster. The type of care she needs is extremely expensive. It would have been absolutely impossible if not for financial support from Vika’s friends all across Russia.

Sergei Glushonkov in Moscow had a brilliant idea. Inspired by the proverb, “Far better than 100 rubles is 100friends,” we asked everyone we knew who was interested and able, to pledge anywhere from 300 to 1000 rubles a month (roughly from $5 to $16 USD monthly)for Vika’s rehabilitation, to be sent directly to Denis’ bank card. By the grace of God, up to now enough money has been available to provide the needed institutionalized care for Vika.

Now the family has come to a point where more support is needed, as the next stages of rehabilitation are more expensive. I am calling for all those who are not indifferent to this situation, all those who know the family, who pray for them, those who care about hearing news from Denis and updates about Vika’s condition, to join us in financial support of this family.

It’s possible that for many of us, the amount of 300 to 1000 rubles a month (about $5 – $16 USD) is not that significant – but for Vika it’s a question of life and death. If you have the ability to join us in contributing to Vika’s fund, please write to us about your desire to help at this address: 100friendsforvika@gmail.com

If you live outside the Russian Federation, please visit Denis’ Caring Bridge site where you can view recent photos of Vika and Denis in the gallery and read the entire background of their journey since Vika fell ill two years ago. In the most recent blog post on that site you will find simple and straightforward instructions for making a secure contribution through Western Union directly to Denis and Vika, which is secure and reliable. Please know that every one of your prayers for God’s intervention in this situation is deeply appreciated.