SILVA

Zmagovalna reportaža v kategoriji Ljudje. Slovenia Press Photo.

Globoko sem počaščena in hvaležna za priznanje Slovenia Press Photo, in sicer za zmagovalno reportažo v kategoriji Ljudje in za častno omembo v kategoriji Narava. Iz srca se zahvaljujem žiriji Zohri Bensemra (Thomson Reuters), Darku Bandiću (Associated Press) in Enricu Dagninu ter Mateju Leskovšku in organizacijski ekipi Sloveniji Press Photo.

I’m deeply honored to be acknowledged in this way and to receive the award from Slovenia Press Photo for winning reportage in category People and for honorary mention in category Nature. I’m grateful and thankful to the jury Zohra Bensemra (Thomson Reuters), Darko Bandić (Associated Press), Enrico Dagnino and special thanks to Matej Leskovšek and his team for the organization of Slovenia Press Photo.

[Slovenian above | English below]

Zgodbo o Silvi sem se odločila narediti, ker se toliko ljudi sooča z rakom posredno ali neposredno in sem skozi izkušnjo Silve dala na plano zgodbo upanja. Silva, ki je raka na dojki premagala, pomaga tudi kot prostovoljka v INFO centru UKC Maribor, Društvo onkoloških bolnikov Slovenije in pravi, da prvo kar jo vprašajo osebe, ki gredo skozi tovrstno izkušnjo je, koliko časa nazaj je imela rak in ali se ji je povrnil.

Njena zgodba, ki ji je spremenila življenje, se je pričela pred 22 leti, ko je otipala bulico v levi dojki. Poslana je bila na pregled, kjer bi naj bulico odstranili in tkivo poslali na pregled. Pravi, da nikoli ne bo pozabila trenutka, ko se je zbudila iz operacije in zatipala svoj predel prsi in občutila, da ji je zdravnik odstranil celotno dojko. In če to ni bil dovolj velik šok, je sledil slednji, kjer je analiza pokazala, da je bulica bila rakasta. Na vprašanje, kako ji lahko zdravnik brez njenega dovoljenja odstrani dojko, pravi, da je niso želeli zbudi iz narkoze, zato se je zdravnik odločil namesto nje. Stara je bila 41 let, ko je šla skozi izjemno težko izkušnjo, ki ji je spremenila življenje in to na boljše. Sedaj vidi, da je bila prej bolj tiha in obremenjena z mnenjem drugih in da si ni upala živeti svojega življenja, kar pa je rak spremenil. S pomočjo podpore družine in prijateljev je to bolezen premagala in zaživela življenje, kot ga je želela. Sedem let po operaciji se je odločila za rekonstrukcijo dojke. »Ne moreš misliti, kako je moteče biti brez ene dojke«, mi je dejala, ko je razkazovala, kakšne modrčke je imela na razpolago in kakšni so vstavki na razpolago. Rekonstrukcija, kjer so z tkivom njenega telesa ustvarili dojko, ji je popolnoma spremenila življenje. »Ponovno sem se počutila celo in ženstveno ter pričela z orientalskim plesom,« pravi in nadaljuje, da ji je ples omogočal veliko več kot slavljenje življenja in ženstvenosti, namreč ples ji je pomagal, da v najtemnejših trenutkih ni podlegla temi depresije.

Zanimivo, kako se zgodbe prepletajo, namreč pri raziskovanju zgodbe o Silvi sem čisto naključno odkrila zgodbo o izjemni kirurginji svetovnega slovesa, dr. Zori Janžekovič, čigar gre zahvala, da je rekonstrukcija dojke sploh možna in tudi uspešna. Prof. dr. Zora Janžekovič je v leta 1961 izumila metodo takojšnjega kirurškega zdravljenja opeklin, s čimer je rešila mnogo žrtev opeklin, ki bi sicer morale umreti ter tako povedla mariborsko bolnišnico v center edukacije, kamor so prihajali na učenje najimenitnejši svetovni strokovnjaki s področja plastične, rekonstrukcijske kirurgije in opeklin. Prejela je številne nagrade, med drugim leta 2007 Zlato britev, ki je namenjena posameznikom, ki so naredili izjemen doprinos. Svetovno priznana kirurginja, katere se je držal sloves stroge, nepopustljive in poštene sodelavke, ki je bila cenjena povsod drugod kakor v domačem Mariboru, je bila leta 1984 v nenadnih in nenavadnih okoliščinah predčasno upokojena. Kljub razočaranju, ki ga je doživela, je do konca svojih dni spremljala novosti na področju medicine. Pri svojih devetdesetih letih je dejala: »Moje življenje je bilo vredno, da sem ga živela.« Svojo pot je končala leta 2015 v starosti 97 let. Nagrade, ki jih je prejela dr. Zora Janžekovič, notranja oprema in delce iz njenega življenja so na razstavi v gradu v Slovenski Bistrici, od koder prihaja tudi Silva, ki ji je ravno rekonstrukcija dojke iz lastnega tkiva, omogočila da je ponovno začutila sebe kot žensko v celoti.

Silvo smatram za izjemno in fascinantno osebo, ki je pri 63 letih žareča in mladostna, polna živih barv in občutka za estetiko, uživa v plesu in življenju in ki je travmatično izkušnjo dojela kot veliko darilo, ki ji je omogočilo, da je spremenila svoje življenje na boljše in resnično zaživela. Zato sem zgodbo Silve poimenovala kot zgodbo upanja.

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Winning reportage in category People. Slovenia Press Photo.

I decided to do a story about a woman named Silva, because so many people are battling with cancer, and I wanted to give them a story of hope. Silva is also a volunteer in a group helping woman who are dealing with cancer, and she said, that the first question they asked her is, how long ago she had it and did the disease returned.

Her story started 22 years ago, when she was 41, she felt a little lump in her left breast and was sent to have a small procedure to remove that lump and to test it out. She says that she will never forget the moment when she woke up from the operation, touched her breast and found out that doctor who operated her not only that he removed the lump but also the whole breast. She was diagnosed to have breast cancer. When asked how come that doctor took that decision without her approval, she said that he didn’t want to wake her from anesthesia. Silva was determined to beat the disease and with help of her family and friends and she did. In that time is important to find a special place, she said, while walking through an old deserted abbey. That kind of places helps you maintain inner peace, she mentioned and said that she don’t believe in God by meanings of Church. Going through emotional turbulence was hard, but also being without one breast, she said. So seven years after the operation she decided for reconstruction of her breast with tissue from her body. That operation changed her life, she finally started feeling a whole woman again, so she started to dance belly dance to celebrate femininity and joy for life and dance is also a good way not to fall into depression, she said.

It is interesting how some paths come across. Purely by coincidence, I discovered a story about amazing and worldwide recognized surgeon Dr. Zora Janžekovič. Her contribution was at the end of the 20th century, where her resolve and innovation became the worldwide standard in the treatment of deep dermal burn wounds. Between 1968 and 1984, numerous internationally renowned burns surgeons found their way to the otherwise unknown Maribor to learn about her methods and apply them. And this method is also used for the woman who has lost breasts. Zora was known for being strict and honest and in 1984 she was suddenly and in unusual circumstances forced to take early retirement. Despite the disappointment from hospital politics, she monitored medicine development. She died in 2015 at age 97 and one of her statements was: »My life was worth living.« Her awards, furniture, jewelry and some other her belongings are exhibited in the museum, in a castle in little town Slovenska Bistrica, a place where Silva lives.

I found Silva at 63 remarkable, with her bright colors, feeling for aesthetics and love for dance and joy. Going through memory land, she said to be shy and quiet person afraid of everybody opinion and with this experience that has changed, so cancer changed her life for better, not only she is stronger but also a more determined person and is not afraid anymore to be what she is and enjoy life as she wants. That’s why I named story of Silva, a story of hope.

Almira Ćatović

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