A hard-working dad who held down a job as a builder during the day and a taxi driver at night to build his family a home and pay for his daughter’s wedding has been stricken with a rare blood condition, with no money left to pay for treatment.
Everything that Anatoliy Neagu, 45, earned was used to service the debts he ran up providing for his family, and that meant nothing was left when he became the only person in Moldova to be diagnosed with Takayasu’s arteritis (TAK), a rare form of vasculitis that inflames blood vessels and damages vital organs.
He is currently in a rare diseases centre in a hospital in the town of Arenzano in the north-western Italian region of Liguria, where he has a sister.
His vision has deteriorated while Italian doctors have also diagnosed a kidney infection, and his concerned relatives have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover his expensive treatment.
In an interview with Central European News (CEN), his daughter Anna-Maria explained: “In 2012, our family was living in an old house without basic conveniences such as a running toilet in the Eastern European country of Moldova.”
With four people sleeping in the same bed, the then 38-year-old father decided to quit his job and he moved his family to the city of Khabarovsk in the far-eastern Russian region of Khabarovsk Krai.
To support his wife and two children, Anatoliy worked on a building site during the day and drove a taxi at night.
Anna-Marie said: “The exhausting work schedule weakened my father’s immune system and doctors advised him to return to Moldova.”
One week after returning to our home country, Anatoliy was suddenly hospitalised and wrongly diagnosed with pneumonia, according to his daughter.
She told CEN: “The incorrect diagnosis and related treatment made my dad’s real condition even worse.”
After returning, Anatoliy decided to use all the money he saved in Russia and got a job at a mushroom factory together with a bank loan to build a new house for his family in their home country of Moldova.
With improved living conditions, the new home was fully constructed in 2014 and the family moved in.
During what should have been a happy occasion and a brand new start for the family, Anatoliy was diagnosed with a rare form of vasculitis – a family of disorders characterised by the inflammation of the blood vessels which can restrict blood flow and damage vital organs – known as Takayasu’s arteritis (TAK).
Anna-Maria told CEN that her dad had also sold his car to pay for her wedding with none of them realising that the disease would need expensive medical treatment.
However, after five years of battling his illness the condition worsened further in 2019 and Anatoliy had to leave his job at the factory.
Anna-Marie said: “Due to the mortgages and loans my dad has taken out, we hope that a crowdfunding campaign will help with the medical costs in Italy.
“The monthly fees for my 45-year-old father’s medications total around 17,000 MDL (750 GBP). We are hopeful about the treatment, but the medical costs are a real problem for us.
“I am also pregnant with his first grandchild who will be born in July this year.”
The mum-to-be added: “My father is the only person in Moldova to be diagnosed with TAK. Any help covering the treatment costs would be sincerely appreciated.”
Anatoliy’s 49-year-old wife Anna, his 21-year-old daughter Anna-Maria and his 14-year-old son Anatoliy have launched a crowdfunding campaign to help with the medical bills.
To make donations, please visit the family’s GoFundMe web page at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/k93cz5-hope-for-loving-dad-with-rare-blood-condition
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