When Matvey Zakharenko was born in Tula, Russia, just about two hours south of Moscow, he was a healthy and happy baby boy. Still, he suffered from a mild case of jaundice, which required treatment. The doctors prescribed a light therapy schedule that required him to lie under a special lamp for a short periods of time.

Tragically, what was intended to be a simple series of treatments nearly cost Matvey his life.

Though newborn Matvey Zakharenko was supposed to be under supervision the entire time he was undergoing light therapy for his jaundice, his nurse briefly left the room one day. That’s when tragedy struck: one of the lamps exploded and caught fire, and before the nurse could put it out, Matvey had suffered severe burns all over his body.


Making matters worse, once Matvey’s mother learned what had occurred and that he’d need special care, she decided she didn’t want him anymore. Amazingly, word of his story began to spread, and both hospitals and other families offered to help.


Eventually, Matvey was adopted by a woman named Svetlana, who started a blog so people could follow along with his story. “The adoption process is complete,” she wrote. “Matvey is now officially a member of our family, but that was just a formality. We’ve already loved him for a long time.”


Since then, Matvey has had several surgeries and continues to improve. In fact, he’s still managing to find things to smile about!


Though he’s already experienced so much pain and loss, 2-year-old Matvey continues to fight.


He’s really something!

It’s awful that any child should have to experience such trauma at such and early age, but at least Matvey is still fighting and finally surrounded by people who love him.

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