Patients call the Yekaterinburg Hospital, located at 37 Kamskaya Street, the “final journey”. This hospital is for patients with tuberculosis and other severe diagnoses. They usually leave this place in black bags.
TB facilities generally do not like drug-dependent people, and try to avoid them. But here, the procedures are especially strict. For example, even a smear-positive patient may be released from the hospital if he breaks the internal rules. “Later he comes back anyway, – says Natalia. – Though not on his own feet, but in a blanket, going straight to the intensive care unit…”
This is the story of Natalia Sannikova. She is very similar to thousands of others with tuberculosis in Russia – apart from one thing: she survived, against all the odds, in the most terrible conditions – in a hospital specialising in drug-dependent people with HIV and tuberculosis.
Natalia Sannikova spent a year in this place. She was taken to the hospital with pulmonary tuberculosis, and after six months here, contracted bone tuberculosis. She saw patients dying, and others being discharged as a punishment, or having their catheter removed to make them feel worse. She was discharged with active tuberculosis, and then the ambulance refused to take her back. She saw patients lying in their own excrement.