Home Beneficiaries Day Care Center for the Elderly in Gyumri Mrs.Katya Pijoyan


Mrs.Katya Pijoyan Devastating Consequences of the Devastating Earthquake

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A lot of people lost their houses, the others lost their relatives and there are some who survived and keep struggling with the earthquake of 1988. A woman who was affected by the earthquake too is 66 years old Katya Pijoyan from Gyumri. She attended Gyumri school # 9 up to the VIII grade. Then she worked at Gyumri’s Stock factory for two years as a trainee, and only in 1970 she became a worker. During her employment years she got married and had 3 children. Her husband was also from Gyumri and worked for their daily bread. They lived conformed to their life, and had no the slightest idea on the coming future days of horror. Prior to the disastrous earthquake they lived in a rented house, then they received a house at Gyumri’s Bulvarni district. The woman who was busy with upbringing and taking care of her children hadn’t worked for several years, devoting her entire time to her children. By the time the children had already grown up, she began to work again at the same place as a worker. Maybe she would work for many years ahead, if not the earthquake.

At the earthquake she was at her workplace. The building had crushed down, and Mrs. Katya was under the ruins of huge stones, and was unable to move.

-I have stayed under the huge stones for 2 nights, my feet were numb, I couldn’t move and go out. After two days I heard voices, called them and fortunately they heard me. It was my husband’s brother, who came for help. They removed several stones but it was still impossible to get out, so they moved them further and, finally I could go out. At last, after a long torture I could get out, my husband hadn’t recognized me, as my face was spilled by paint turned unrecognizable from the fear, - recalled Mrs. Katya with pain.

After saving his wife, Katya’s husband immediately transported his wife to the hospital, where after examining her, doctors operated Katya’s legs, however, the operation did not produce an expected result.

- My feet were deformed, I couldn’t feel them, I couldn’t even stand up.

But after a treatment, there was some improvement, so that today Mrs.Katya is able to walk independently. The third grade pensioner Mrs. Katya still suffers from pains.

-My legs are still numb and from time to time it becomes impossible to move my feet. The care and drugs obtained from “Armenian Caritas staff put me on my legs.

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After the earthquake in 1995 the family was allocated a house at Gyumri’s Hovsepyan Street and Mrs. Katya lives there to present. The only problem is her house, which is planned to be destroyed, and she doesn’t know why.

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Prepared by Stella Antonyan

Photos by Stella Antonyan