Persistence puts mom in touch with wounded son in Russia

Never underestimate the power of a mother who wants to talk to her wounded son -- but keeps getting stonewalled by bureaucrats at a Russian hospital half a world away.

Like Girdwood resident Christine Bean, whose 22-year-old war-correspondent son, Winston Featherly-Bean, was among four journalists shot by Georgian separatists in South Ossetia on Sunday. Two were killed.

Working on a free-lance assignment in the embattled regional capital of Tskhinvali, Featherly-Bean was fired upon at a roadblock as he and the other journalists drove near. The 2004 West High graduate suffered a bullet wound to his lower leg that shattered two bones and landed him in a hospital in the southern Russia republic of North Ossetia.

That much she'd learned through the Internet, Bean said. But her multiple calls to the hospital -- to either talk to her son directly, or to a doctor who could tell her more about his condition -- were continually frustrated Sunday and Monday. Then early in the morning on Tuesday, she finally found a way.

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