This brave 4-year-old girl trekked miles in Siberia to get help for her grandmother, and it sounds terrifying
Any time you start to feel defeated in the middle of the week, please remember this brave AF 4-year-old girl who trekked through Siberia to get help for her dying grandmother. Nothing in that sentence makes sense, right? Toddlers, Siberia, trekking? It’s incredible.
Here’s the whole story
Saglana Salchak had been living with her grandparents in the Siberian taiga forest, close to the Monogolian border, 12 miles from the closest village and five miles from the closest neighbor. Saglana woke up one morning and found her 60-year-old grandmother wasn’t moving. She talked to her blind grandfather and they decided that she would bundle up, with just a box of matches in case she had to light a fire (do you even KNOW how to light a fire in the wilderness?) and started out in -29 degree Fahrenheit weather to go for help.
We don’t if we’re crying or stunned. She almost missed that neighbor’s house at the five-mile mark, but luckily someone from the family spotted her. They called for medical help who checked out Saglana and then went to her grandparents’ house, where they concluded her grandmother had died of a heart attack. That’s a sad ending to the story, but Saglana is a hero in our books no matter what. She told the local newspaper, Komsomolskaya Pravda, that she was really cold.
"I just walked, walked and got there... and really wanted to eat."
Apparently, hunger was the least of her problems. The region where she lives is basically overrun with wolves and she could have been attacked in the dark or, just as worse, gotten stuck in a snow drift, which are “often chest high,” according to The Guardian.
Saglana caught a cold and recovered a bit in the hospital and is now living at a social center. (No word on grandpa, but let’s assume he’s fine.? The sad news: Her mom and stepfather are off herding their horses until May or so in another region, so they probably have no idea what their daughter was up to. The region’s authorities are looking into building a case against her mother, Eleonora, for leaving Saglana in dangerous conditions since she knew that the grandparents were elderly and isolated. She could spend a year in jail.
Sayana Mongush told The Guardian that the conditions that Saglana and her grandparents were living in, like not having a phone line, weren’t anyone’s fault but the government.
"Even in Soviet times, herders in Tuva had [material] privileges and radio communications. But now in the 21st century a four-year-old child has to go by foot only because there’s no connectivity. This is nonsense, and the crime is not by the girl’s mother, but by the authorities.
It’s easy to see her point. As much as we’re impressed by Saglana for not being afraid to set out, it’s crazy that there was not other way for her to get help, and that the success of her mission had a lot to do with luck. We hope her mom gets home soon and isn’t in too much trouble.