Sargsyan points to a wooden cross on the wall
of her hospital room and says it is the reason
she is alive.
"This cross protects me from dying,"
the 53-yeal old Yerevan resident says. "Three
times I have made an attempt to commit suicide,
but I am still alive."
The latest attempt came February 22. Tsovinar
went to Kievyan Bridge (locally known as "Suicide
Bridge") over the Hrazdan gorge.
It was daytime, and there was plenty traffic,
so she at first thought she'd end her life under
a car's wheels.
"If I threw myself under a car, I would
have made someone else unhappy," she says.
"That is why I decided to throw myself from
"I could hardly climb the bridge. I stood
in the center of it, and then the only thing I
remember is that my arm and side were terribly
aching," she says.
Kievyan Bridge is 76 meters (about 250 feet),
about the height of a 15-story building. Over
the years it has become the last point of life
for many people. Tsovinar may be the only jumper
who remains to talk about the leap of desperation.
She should not be alive. It is believed that
many who jump die from heart attacks on the way
down if not from the impact. But Tsovinar Sargsyan
sustained only bruised ribs and a broken arm.
"Nobody can say what kind of emotional experiences
the person throwing herself from the bridge had,
perhaps she was looking for illusion, or she did
not realize what she was doing," says psychologist
Angela Vardanyan. "That's why the height
did not seem awful to her. In general the state
of mind predestines the outcome of the situation."
For several years Tsovinar has suffered from
regular attacks of mental illness and her effort
to end her life three weeks ago is only her latest
encounter with severe depression.
needs me," she says. "I can't help my
son, I am only a burden for him. It is better
if I die, he will get rid of me, and I will get
rid of this world, where I have seen only suffering."
Her son, 17-year old Arsen, works in a factory
where he makes enough for basic needs, but not
enough to pay for medicine Tsovinar needs. And
the mother does not want to trouble her son with
However desperate her situation, as a rare survivor
of "Suicide Bridge" Tsovinar is something
of a medical miracle.
"No matter how surprising and irregular
it is, that woman who fell from that height was
walking a week later," says Levon Grigoryan,
head of the trauma department at Republican Hospital.
"On the whole it is strange that she survived."
The cross hanging from the gray, dirty wall of
the hospital was brought by a friend of her son.
"I believe in God, but I don't understand
why he is torturing me. I don't want to live.
A few years ago I drank essence but again did
not die. And neither did this bridge put an end
to my suffering.
"There are people who want to live, and
die from an insignificant thing. I am tired of
this life and am punished with not dying."