Would You Resist With Me For a Lifetime?
The story of our members Vedat Birgücü and Nilgün Ay Birgücü is published on Hurriyet newspaper;
They fell in love at first sight in a hospital corridor. One of them can’t walk, while the other hardly stands up in spite of taking support from a crutch. However this is not an obstacle for doing the following: “The walk we start with battery-operated car at 9pm ends at 6am in the morning”
Vedat Birgücü is 34 years old. He used to work as a master wrap chef at Çınaraltı Dürüm in Idealtepe. He fell from high in April 2005. In the afternoon, he came home to take some rest. His mother asked him to repair the broken latch bolt of the door. He lied down saying, “I will take some rest; I will take care of it before going to work”. But he woken up by the game of his subconscious at the fifth minute of his sleep; he opened the window while he was sleepy and threw himself off from the second floor. He spent eight days on a stretcher in Kartal State Hospital. He recovered his consciousness on the ninth day, was taken to operation on the 12th day but then drawn back as he didn’t have 3 thousand Turkish lira then. And now, his T12-L4 bones are fractured, he has paraplegia and he is paralyzed from the waist down. He locked himself home for five years and didn’t even leave his room; he suffered from a severe depression. In the fifth year, he was convinced to go into hospital and get physiotherapy.
Nilgün Ay Birgücü is 44 years old. 2009 was the year that made her life miserable. She had been working as hairstylist for 33 years and had her own hair salon in Bostancı for 13 years. When one day one of her said, “Shall we go to Adapazarı to see my mother?”, they set off together. The employee was driving the car. While he was trying to send a text message at the turning, he couldn’t see the oncoming car. They first bumped into the barriers and then the oncoming car hit Nilgün.
Her skull was crashed. She had 40 stitches. Her neck was broken from three points. Her femur and pelvis were fractured and knees were ruptured. She had two daughters, one 16 years old and the other 23. Doctors told them that their mother wouldn’t survive. But she did. She became bedridden for a year. After one year, when she achieved to limpingly stand up with support, she decided to go into Erenköy Rehabilitation Hospital for physiotherapy.
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT IN HOSPITAL
On the first day he stepped into the hospital, he got on the elevator with his mother to access the rehabilitation floor. When they reached at the floor, the door of the elevator opened and he was hit by the blue eyes of Nilgün. Vedat only arrived 10 minutes before her and was waiting for his hospitalisation procedures to be completed. Nilgün says that this is love at first sight: “At that moment, someone took my heart and put it onto Vedat’s heart, and his heart on mine, too...”
They instantly started chatting; told each other how they became disabled. They were together till the moment their room numbers were determined. “Vedat was staying on the upper floor. I used to visit him often. I was making tea and taking it to his room, and sharing the food brought to me by my visitors with him. I was in love but I couldn’t open up myself. I was afraid to make illusions in my mind. I was saying, “Why would he be with a disabled person like me?”. He didn’t seem paralyzed to me; I wasn’t looking that way, how was I supposed to see?” At this very moment, the situation was the same on Vedat’s side. Although he was in love with Nilgün, he was also thinking, “Why would she be with a disabled person like me?”. He thought that he would be rejected by her as he was 10 years younger. He believed that she would take it as a childish behavior and respond, “Don’t make fun of me”.
Vedat stayed for 2.5 months, and Nilgün for 4.5 months in the hospital... Although they were seeing each other every day, they couldn’t declare their love to each other. They always talked on the phone and sent messages to each other during the two-month period when Nilgün was staying alone in the hospital but still they couldn’t open up the subject. As soon as Nilgün got out of the hospital, she got Vedat’s house in no time flat before her own house. She could walk lamely thanks to the treatment and the support of crutches. She was determined; she would open up her heart to Vedat. “I started to regularly visit Vedat’s place with various excuses. We were chatting on Facebook. When no dating proposal came after two-three weeks passed, I convinced myself and said, “We complete each other, why don’t we marry?” . He said, “Why not!?”.
I ALMOST ELOPED WITH MY HUSBAND
Vedat accepted the proposal but his family was against this marriage. They were unsure about the sincerity of Nilgün and afraid that she would play with him and leave him in the lurch. They didn’t see each other for a month. They were only chatting on phone and sending messages to each other. One day Vedat said, “If we had a room of our own, if we had a house, then we wouldn’t need the approval of anyone and would marry.” At that moment a bulb lighted in Nilgün’s mind. She already had a room like that. An 18-sqm warehouse which she bought in order to keep her materials during the time she had a hair salon. She went to the warehouse; cleaned it and made it look like a home. Now the second was to take Vedat away from his parent’s house. “I have an old friend; he is almost two meters long and looks big. His name is Halil. I told him, “Ring the doorbell, enter in when the door is opened, hug Vedat and leave the house.” He did exactly what I said and brought Vedat to me. As his family was afraid of him getting married, they kept his identity card. We tried to get his ID back for 1.5 months. In the end, we said that it was necessary for hospital procedures, and got it back. On the day we took the ID back, I went to the marriage office. I was so afraid of the possibility that they would come back and take Vedat that I used to lock him inside the house before leaving. He had two brothers; one 36 and the other 38 years old, they could do it. I took him on February 2 and we got married on April 1.”
It has been two years since Vedat and Nilgün got married. They have been living in a small room for two years. Yes, it’s very small, and even their bathroom has no door, they are still happy. They see the stars every time they look into each other’s eyes. Two months after the wedding, they managed to make up with Vedat’s family. They say, “There is no room for discomfort in our lives”.
They don’t have a ‘normal’ sexual life, as we know. But they are able to satisfy each other in every sense. They never separate. They have a wide circle of friends involving people with disabilities. They meet regularly. Vedat says: “We are an enviable couple. Everyone is surprised by our happiness despite our situation. Moreover, Nilgün was diagnosed with uterine cancer. At the end of June, her uterus will be completely removed with an operation. But I’m sure that this will be the last operation of my love. Everything will end.”
As Nilgün has nails and platin inserted from her hips to knees, she can’t walk for long with crutches. Until two months ago, she used to sit on Vedat’s lap when they went out. Thanks to two tons of blue caps they collected, Nilgün got a power-operated chair two months ago.
Vedat is not able to work as can’t sit for a long time due to myolysis, so he is quarterly paid a salary of TL 700. 630 lira of this 700 lira is paid for the pension liability for Nilgün’s social security. “Although I’ve been paying for 20 years, I’m still not retired. They say ‘no time-out for people with disabilities’ but I couldn’t understand this. Everyone says a different thing.” Of course, it is not possible to live on TL 70 remaining from the salary for three months. They can survive thanks to Nilgün’s limited income from manicure and pedicure services she offers for her former customers, and hand-made baby knit blankets.
Let’s talk about the resisting aspects of these two. Vedat and Nilgün are one of those who react to the issue with regards to the trees in the beginning. They say, “Parks and trees have a higher importance for people with disabilities.” They participated in a march started from the Anatolian Side. “We started at 9.00 from Bostancı on the first day. When we arrived in Kadıköy, it was already 12.00 and our chairs were discharged. We charged them and went back to the walk. It was 6.00 in the morning when we arrived home.”
ARE YOU DISABLED?
We never fight. The worst words that we use for each other at the peaks of anger are “crazy, fool”. Or when one doesn’t understand the other, we say “Are you disabled?” The other replies, “Yeees!”. Then we instantly start laughing. We promised not to lose our respect for each other on the day we got married.