On September 19, 2009, Gohar Khachaturyan gave birth to her second child, through Cesarean section. Today, eight years later, she’s about to undergo another surgery, this time for removing gallbladder stones.
Earlier in the morning, as Gohar was stepping out of the house, in the village of Koghb, her eight-year-old son felt sad because he was going to be alone at home, with neither his mom nor dad around. His father has gone abroad for work, as jobs are hard to come by in the Tavush Region. As for Gohar, she works as an obstetrician at Noyemberyan Hospital.
“I’ve been working at the hospital for 14 years,” Gohar says. “I started as a nurse in the Infectious Diseases Department. I then transferred to Surgery, and, since last year, I’ve been working at the Maternity Ward.” She adds that she might’ve had a different profession today if it weren’t for an event that took place on February 1, 1998.
“In 1989, we fled the village of Chardakhlu, in Azerbaijan’s Shamkhor Region, and settled in Zorakan, in Armenia,” Gohar recalls. “I was five years old at the time. On February 1, 1998, my brother was injured by a mine explosion while playing in a field. Miraculously, he survived. I was a good student, but because of what happened to my brother, my plans for applying to a university were put on hold.”
“Well, I was a village girl,” Gohar continues jokingly, “and, had I stayed home, I wouldn’t have applied anywhere.”
With the advice of her aunt, she applied and was admitted to Vanadzor State College later that year. After graduating with honors, she returned to Koghb. Fourteen years ago, when she was seeking a job at the Noyemberyan Hospital, Gohar recalls, the facility was in dreadful shape. But a few years later, in 2010, the hospital underwent a top-to-bottom renovation and was provided with modern medical equipment through the sponsorship of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund. In addition to these fundamental improvements, Gohar says, she appreciates the Fund’s ongoing and multifaceted support.
“We are delighted that, for already the third year since 2015 and at the initiative of Armenia Fund, healthcare professionals from Adventist Health Glendale have been coming to the Noyemberyan Hospital to provide free services,” Gohar says. “We’ve been learning a great deal from our Adventist Health colleagues, equally with regard to skills, knowledge, and the human aspects of our calling.”
During their 2017 mission to the Noyemberyan Hospital, the Adventist Health doctors provided free medical care, including examinations and surgeries, as well as medications, to more than 2,200 patients from throughout Tavush. In Gohar’s case, the Adventist Health physicians benefited her by not only enhancing her skills and knowledge, but performing an operation to remove her gallbladder stones. Gohar was diagnosed with the condition three years ago. She was planning on having a surgery in 2016, but ended up having to wait because her daughter underwent an operation that same year, in Yerevan.
“Although both my husband and I work, it’s hard, as you know, to provide for a family,” Gohar explains. “We just couldn’t afford two surgeries in the same year. In 2016, my daughter had a procedure for removing a soft tissue mass. That’s why I waited a year, to be operated on by doctors from the United States. I couldn’t be happier with their service, and already feel much better.”
A day after her successful surgery, Gohar gets dressed, grabs her things, and rushes home. She will bake a birthday cake for her son, with a one-day delay. Although his uncles have already thrown a party for him the day before, his mom’s cake is what makes it all special.