Iceland’s ballroom and Latin American dance champion Hanna Rún Bazev Óladóttir wrote a blog post about her experience in a Penza hospital. The post is called “Nightmare in reality” and it is illustrated with creepy photos and details of her stay in the Russian provincial hospital. After the story went viral it was posted on the website of the Icelandic newspaper Pressan.is.
The incident occurred, while Hannah was on vacation in Penza, where she visited her husband’s family. Hannah is married to Nikita Bazev. On the third day of the vacation she got sick. She woke up at 3 am with heartburn and chest pain. At first, she refused to go to hospital, but after 40 minutes of unbearable pain she gave in. “When we arrived at the hospital, the nightmare was just beginning” she recalls.
Despite the fact that she speaks some Russian, in the hospital she didn’t understand a word. “Women in white coats and hats reminded me of scenes from horror movies.” Hannah said. They put her on a hard bench and gave her an injection, without warning. Then, the girl was loaded into the ambulance and was taken to another hospital. “The driver was driving so fast, that several times I almost fell. It felt like the road in a remote Icelandic village” Hannah recalls. Her husband and family were not allowed to accompany her.
Hannah describes her first encounter, with a bathroom. “I was speechless, when I opened the bathroom door. The floor was all wet and dirty, everywhere was wet toilet paper. The smell was ridiculous. I had to cover my face with a sweater, and tried not to touch anything. The sink was covered in blood, so I couldn’t even wash my hands”
Then, they drew the blood from her finger, and with no explanation, performed an ultrasound exam. “When the nurse finished, I asked her for a napkin to wipe the gel off. Apparently, they didn’t have any.” Hannah says.
After the ultrasound Hannah was left in a room, with her mother in law. Hannah’s husband: the only English speaking person, was ordered to leave. “There was a disgusting smell of mold in the room. I sat on the bed. The pillow was all stained and smelled awful. Nikita’s mom spread her jacket on a bed, so I could lie down” Hannah says.
Then, according to Hannah, the nurse entered the room, wearing rubber gloves and chatting on a phone. Then, without changing gloves, she put in an IV, but failed to fix the needle in place. “I was just looking at the needle, the cord from the dropper was pulling it up and I couldn’t move. It was very painful, so after some time I just passed out.”
When Hannah woke up, she requested to remove the IV and take her to the bathroom. But the nurse pulled out dirty bed pan, from under the bed, with some urine still in it. The nurse offered to choose: either to hold it, or to use the bed pan. Mother in law washed it for Hannah, so she could use it. After some time, Nikita’s mother began to argue with the nurse. As it turned out, Hannah was about to be given a strong anesthetic, because she was being prepared for a surgery. “I didn’t understand why I had to go under knife. I just wanted to escape from there! Nikita translated nurse’s words to Hannah over the phone: doctors decided to cut me just to make sure my organs were okay”.
After her husband managed to persuade the doctors not to proceed with surgery, doctors decided to do a gastroscopy. Hannah writes that she calmed down a bit, since she went through the same procedure in Iceland. However, in Penza hospital the process was quite different.
“The doctor put a hose down my throat. I wanted to throw up. At first, I couldn’t breathe, because the tube was so fat. I tried to calm down and think about something positive. But, I was looking at my mother in law and she was crying and crying.”
After the procedure, the doctor praised Hannah for being calm and not kicking him, as other patients do. The girl was taken back to a dirty room and was told, that she had to stay for another three days (during which she supposed to starve). “I went crazy and wanted to get out of there. I begged Nikita to take me home, because I was sure, that they would cut me up and sell my organs”.
Hannah’s whole body hurt because of injections. The hallways were noisy. Doctors and nurses were shouting. Patients were moaning. She had enough! “When we got home, I took off all my clothes and shoes and immediately ran to the shower. Even after we got back, I had a feeling that doctors will come for me and return me back to the hospital”.
After some time Hannah felt better. According to her, most likely it was just the usual heartburn attack. But, she was haunted for a long time after this incident.
Russian readers reacted differently. Some really sympathized with the girl, while others accused her of being a spoiled foreigner.