How Misha, a 19-year-old with Down syndrome, escaped Ukraine

As Russian missiles fell on the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol, 19-year-old Misha Rohozhyn, who has Down syndrome, suffered a panic attack in a bomb shelter. He shouted so loudly that everyone in the basement, which had more than 1,000 people crammed in, fell silent.

Misha’s depression persuaded her mother, Liana Rohozhyna, to give up safety underground. They moved to a day center he had attended in peacetime. The center, unprotected from the bombings, quickly became a haven for people with disabilities such as Down syndrome and autism who could not manage in basements and other shelters.


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