Ilana Ruslanivny cannot receive the lifesaving treatment she needs in Ukraine

Ilana Ruslanivny cannot receive the lifesaving treatment she needs in Ukraine

A family from Edgware is calling on the community to help pay for a desperately ill two-month old Ukrainian child to fly out to Vienna for life-saving treatment.

Ilana Ruslanivny is in a critical condition on life support in a hospital in Ukraine, with a number of life-threatening conditions, including hypoxic and toxic encephalopathy.

Doctors there say they do not have the resources to save her life.

Nikki and Jason Bennett’s efforts to help her are being led through Evolve, a charity they set up after their daughter Dawn was twinned with girls in Belarus as part of her batmitzvah year in 2012.

“Through Jewish Childs Day, she was twinned with two girls in Belarus,” says Nikki. “We went out to meet them in their homes and were humbled. It showed how much we take for granted. We felt compelled to give something back and setting up the charity was a perfect platform.”

Community leaders in Mukachevo, a south-west city near the Carpathian Mountains, have asked the London family to help raise the money to pay for Ilana to reach Vienna and get her the medical treatment.

Jason explains: “When asked to help a helpless baby like Ilana, it was a simple decision to say yes.”

By Monday, they had raised £500 of the £10,000 needed, and asked the community to dig deep. “Ilana has to be transported 600km to a hospital in Vienna for the care and treatment that she desperately needs,” Nikki adds.

“Her medical condition is precarious, her organs are in failure and she desperately needs support from a team of experienced clinicians.”

Dawn said: “I have seen my cousin grow to the healthy three-year-old he is today; we need to help Ilana so her parents can see her grow and develop.”

Baby Ilana needs further investigation with high tech modern medical equipment, which is available to her in Austria at a cost of €900 (£738) a day.

• Donations can be made via: www.evolve-community.org