Precinct 333

Saturday, September 18, 2004

A Beslan Miracle

We have all seen the picture. I even posted it on my site before. A blood-stained hand of a child clutches a cross following the Beslan school attack.

I've got another picture for you.

A happier one.

Of Viktoria Ktsoyeva.

The girl whose hand and cross touched so many of us.

Here's the story of what she went through in the school. And since I, as a teacher, can't type anything more about Beslan without crying, I'll leave you with this excerpt about the goodness of God.
"I felt that if I had that cross in my hand and if it was still there, then everything would be fine," she said.

The only sign of her injury are three small stitches on the right side of her forehead. But X-rays show a centimetre-sized piece of shrapnel that travelled into her skull and stopped practically in the center of her brain.

Dr Maxim Vladimirov, her neurosurgeon, said the shrapnel could have hit a major artery or affected Viktoria's ability to control her movement if it had gone just 1 millimetre further in any direction. "She's very lucky," Vladimirov said.

For now, doctors are planning to leave the shrapnel inside her skull and will only operate if any future complications develop.

After days of being confined to bed on doctor's orders, Victoria took her first cautious steps again on Wednesday. She's expected to be hospitalised for about a month, and then to travel with her family to a sanatorium for further recuperation.

The cross is now back in her family's apartment in Beslan, still stained with blood.

She didn't have time to remember it when she was taken September 5 to Moscow for treatment, but her father, Sergei, and brother will bring it when they arrive later. She now wears a brown cross given her by a priest who visited the hospital. A couple small icons rest on her windowsill in front of a small menagerie of stuffed animals.


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