Hearts Open

hearts open thumbOpen heart operations for Ukrainian children suffering from congenital heart diseases as a result of the Chernobyl catastrophe. Complex surgeries are performed in difficult conditions of expired technical base and low support of the government. For reference: After 26 of April 1986 7 million people in Ukraine and Belorussia received highest known exposure in history of atomic age. Birth defects affecting children born since 1986 has increased for 200%. Congenital birth deformities affecting children born since 1986 has increase for 250% Treating congenital diseases always have been and will be a moral question for external observer. It allows to survive and to grow up for children whose chances were very narrow, though there is always another side, which is consciously being removed from consideration – chance of passing the defected genes over generations in future. Nobody can or may decide, who will live or survive. Doctors are little bit like accurate machines. No feelings, no unnecessary thoughts, no compassion to pain – saving life is the only priority that can be real now end ever.

Mstyslav has been working with Chernobyl Children International, the Novick Cardiac Alliance shooting Open hart surgeries from 2008.
Hearts Open was his first serious documentary project

Cardiac mission CCI and ICHF. Ukraine
All text and photographs © Mstyslav Chernov