A woman that caught my attention was Rita in chapter 5. On the day of the explosion, she went to work anyways because she was afraid she would lose her pension and social benefits. But when you read her story, you find out that by exposing herself to the radiation, she actually lost her benefits. She arrived in Moscow and went to the hospital sick. Bone marrow damage was recorded in her files and she reported vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding, and memory loss. She had all of the symptoms of Acute Radiation Sickness (ARS) however, she was diagnosed with Vegetovascular dystonia (VvD). Doctors said this was caused by psychological, not biological factors. She believed that VvD was a false cover that doctors used so she went to another hospital. At the other hospital they diagnosed her with ARS but then when she was still sick and went back they said it was VvD. Rita’s case got worse and she wasn’t receiving the proper treatment needed. Instead of receiving disability benefits, she was actually losing money because she was spending more money on hospital visits then she was getting. She refused to believe that this was her result so she tried to find justice by reporting her problem to higher officials.
In seeking justice, she sent out a claim showing her results and providing suffient information proving she needed to be compensated. It took over a year for a response saying that she have to provide more/better proof. However, the proof they were looking for only comes from extreme cases of radiation. Those individuals with these extreme cases have died and she wasn’t able to provide evidence suffient enough. This shows that her “Chernobyl tie” wasn’t consistent. She did no accept bribes and this also made it harder for her. The doctors said that she needs to come to the hospital for welness checkups every year and if she refuses the diagnosis, they will make it a lot harder for her at the hospital. Rita’s case was a perfect description of the system and how hard it is for someone to receive disability benefits from the effects of Chernobyl. I am impressed by how much she perservered and I wish she had a better outcome.