The Story of How a Girl Beat a Killer (Op-ed)
Because when you are a fighter and when there are people ready to fight for you, then the story has a happy ending
Today is Oct. 30, and exactly one week ago someone tried to kill me. I still need time to get my mind around what happened, but for now I’d like to say thank you.
Thank you, Alexander, our security guard, who was able to drag the man with a knife off me. Thank you, Igor, our other security guard, who rushed to help Alexander. Thank you, Ida, who didn’t lose her head but responded instantly and did everything to get me in the ambulance as fast as possible.
Thank you, anonymous woman. She just saw that Ida and I were rushing to the first floor and trying to call an ambulance. The woman didn’t walk away, she didn’t turn away or pretend that she was in a hurry. She helped me hold the wound on my neck closed, because I no longer had the strength to do it and was beginning to choke on blood. I asked her to talk to me and keep me from losing consciousness. My dear anonymous bystander, you were so brave! I’ll find you!
Thank you, Olga Bychkova and Ira Merkulova, who ran downstairs just to be with me. Thank you, Kira who tried so hard to help. Thank you, Katya who took my phone and stoically answered all calls, calmed down my family, and took me to the hospital. Katya, your iron calm really helped keep me from panicking.
Thank you, Alexander, the doctor in the ambulance, for the crucial first aid. Thank you, Gulnara Penkova and Lyosha Levchenko. And endless thanks to the amazing surgeons at Sklifosovsky Emergency Hospital and Institute. (Karen Dzhagrayev is absolutely my hero.)
And thank you to more than just the surgeons. My dear Yelena Alexandrovna, my anesthesiologist, you were right there with me at the most terrifying moments. I couldn’t have gotten through it without you. Thank you, emergency care specialists in the shock therapy ward, who were with me constantly for the first three days.
Thank you, doctors — all of you — who treated me and kept my spirits up. Thank you, nurses and orderlies, who took care of me and tried to keep my mind off what was happening. Thank you, Sergei Petrikov, director of the Institute. I realize how you were besieged with phone calls! And thank you for taking so much time with me and my family!
Thank you to my family, my friends, and my Ekho Moskvy family. Thank you to everyone who came to the hospital just to be with me. I love you all so much! Thank you, Sergei Badamshin, my lawyer, for making me feel safe. Thank you, friends and strangers, who wrote me, worried, and offered help. It took me three days just to read all the hundreds of messages with words of support. I really tried to reply to them all. Thank you, journalists, who largely were very tactful and supportive. I really treasure that.
I realize how lucky I am to be still with you. But I don’t think it was just luck.
These endless “thank yous” aren’t just words. They are not polite banalities or just a formality. This is a story about how you have to fight for your life. You have to fight with your fists. And life must be saved.
All of my gratitude is for people who weren’t indifferent, who were courageous. To be honest, I didn’t think that I could fight so desperately for my right to live. And I wouldn’t have been so strong if not for all of you, whom I’m thanking.
Because when you are a fighter and when there are people ready to fight for you, then the story has a happy ending — it’s the story of how a girl beat a killer.
Tatyana Felgenhauer is a journalist and the deputy editor of the Ekho Moskvy radio. On Oct. 23, she was stabbed in the throat by an assailant.
The original version of this letter was first published by Ekho Moskvy.
The views and opinions expressed in opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the position of The Moscow Times.