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With a teenage daughter still at school Valentina, like any dying mother, has much on her mind, and so little time.
“I pray you can help me,” she says plaintively as she welcomes us into a tiny North Shore bedsit.
Around the walls, pictures of her child and her child’s schoolwork, and boxes piled high with files and memorabilia.
There’s an air of fatality in the room, or perhaps an air of impending fatality.
In Russia, it wasn’t unknown for people to just disappear.
And then, as it all went black, she could feel nothing at all.WORDS BY IAN WISHART PHOTOGRAPHY BY SVETLANA KHVOROSTOVA/(photo posed by model) There are tears in the eyes of the dark-haired woman as she greets me on another Auckland doorstep.