Armenia, Faces of Poverty

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Armenia, Faces of Poverty

Ani, 12, with her favorite doll, and her father Senik Garabedian. Senik, his wife, and their four children, live in this two-room tin and wood shack in Geghard village in Armenia. The lack of heating in their shack during the winter, when temperatures dip below freezing, and the family’s inability to afford fire wood, caused Ani to contract a serious respiratory illness. She began coughing up blood and the illness soon spread to her heart. Her parents tried to find a doctor who would perform the surgery Ani needed to get well, but were turned away repeatedly because they could not pay for the surgery. At one hospital, Ani was put under anesthesia in preparation for surgery, but when the surgeon found out that her family was unable to pay, Ani was sent home in a semi-conscious state. A non-profit organization finally intervened and arranged for Ani’s surgery. Impoverished families in Armenia are often denied basic medical treatments when they are unable to pay for the care they need. Geghard village, 2009. Sara Anjargolian/The Stand