MARIA'S STORY - A True Story of Survival

ISBN: 978-1507734315

Based on true events, Maria's Story is a story about love, hope and survival.


Maria lost her legs when she was five years old, falling between a train and the platform while on her way to visit her grandmother in Siberia. At 17, during a village summer festival, she was kidnapped by a group of gypsies and smuggled to Moscow, where she was forced to beg. Living in squalor and unable to contact her family back home, she was forced into a gypsy marriage, repeatedly raped, and eventually fell pregnant. Not wanting her baby to be born into that terrible environment, she finally managed to escape control of the gypsies and gave birth to a baby boy in a hospital on the outskirts of Moscow. In 2003, the author – working as a bodyguard in Russia at the time - happened to pass Maria begging in a metro station. After listening to Maria's story, an appeal was started to provide a little help for her and her son. Eventually Maria was provided with prosthetic legs, took her first steps in almost 19 years, and was finally able to change her life around. As heart-warming as it is heartbreaking, this remarkable and powerful story shows how we all have the capacity and ability to change someone's life for the better.


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© Robin Barratt