WFH mourns passing of Vladimir Ilijin (1956 – 2017)

It is with great sadness that the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) learned of the passing of Vladimir Ilijin, President of the Serbian Haemophilia Society (SHS) in December. Ilijin was a key member of the SHS from its very beginning in 2000, and was also actively involved in a number of other organizations, including the National Haemophilia Committee in Serbia and the European Haemophilia Consortium (EHC).

For Ilijin, having severe hemophilia A with inhibitors wasn’t a roadblock when it came to tireless effort in the name of the Serbian bleeding disorders community. He was committed to members of the community throughout the nation, and many successes in the country can be attributed to his leadership. These include championing new medication, home therapy, and prophylaxis for children and adults; and establishing the Youth and Parenting Group. He also contributed to many workshops on a variety of topics such as dental, musculoskeletal and psychological health.

On behalf of the global bleeding disorders community, the WFH would like to express its deepest sympathies to all of Vladimir Ilijin’s family members, friends and colleagues.

The following message was provided by the Serbian Haemophilia Society

Since the founding of the Serbian Haemophilia Society in 2000, Vladimir was actively involved in the work of the Society, and for the past eight years he was the Chairman of the Steering Board. As a person with a severe form of Haemophilia A with inhibitors, very fragile health, but very strong will, he selflessly gave himself for the brighter future of people with hemophilia and sought to give patients in Serbia better treatment.

It was never difficult for Vladimir to do anything for the Society, or for any of us. We were always able to get true and honest advice, whether it was for problems we were coping with together for a long time, personal issues. He was a voice of reason and a true friend. He enriched us with all his goodness and wise words.

Vladimir was respected and esteemed far beyond the framework of the Society. He was respected by the healthcare workers with whom we cooperated, by representatives of state institutions and other associates, and by our friends outside Serbia.

A great strategist with a vision for his community, Vladimir planned and measuredly solved one problem at a time. He represented the Society in the Tender Committee at the National Health Insurance Fund, as well as at the National Haemophilia Committee. Side by side he was sitting with the best hematologists and economists in our country, advocating for all patients in Serbia whether they were from a small village in the south or from a large city in the north. He always said that we are all equal and that all patients in our country have the right to equal treatment.

Vladimir advocated for active Serbian Haemophilia Society cooperation with the WFH and the European Haemophilia Consortium, and supported all common activities. This contributed to the realization of over 15 workshops for both members of the Society and for medical workers. He pledged that we can only raise the level of treatment with knowledge.

Always open to new ideas, Vladimir supported the establishment of the Youth and Parenting Group. He left an immeasurable contribution to the work of the Society, and also improved the quality of treatment for people with hemophilia in Serbia. He devoted years of his life to his vision of a better tomorrow. He worked for the benefit of all of us. We will greatly miss his knowledge, experience and calmness in making difficult decisions.

Everyone who knew him and who worked with him received the news of his sudden death with grief. This is the only battle he didn’t win. We will remember him forever in our hearts.

It’s up to us to continue where Vladimir was tragically stopped.

Serbian Haemophilia Society