: Soldiers who returned from eastern Ukraine learn to live with prosthetics
Society11:54 Mar. 26, 2016

Soldiers who returned from eastern Ukraine learn to live with prosthetics

The most difficult is the rehabilitation process, the Victors' participants state

These adults are taking their first steps once again. The soldiers who returned from the front in eastern Ukraine are striving hard to get back to regular life. After the two years of war in the Donbas region, Ukrainian doctors continue to help people in need of prosthetics. But the patients with severe neurological injuries don't get adequate treatment. The soldiers who are participating in the multi-media project 'The Victors' say the most difficult part of recovering is the rehabilitation process.

21-year-old Vladyslav Kuznetsov is a paratrooper. He lost his hand two years ago in a battle near Lysychansk in Luhansk region. The young soldier threw away the shell thrown in the crew's military engine. By becoming injured, Vladyslav saved his fellow soldiers.

Vladyslav Kuznetsov, 'The Victors' participant: "I held my arm up and noticed I have no hand anymore. Just a couple of bones were left."

Read also Multi-media project 'The Victors' unveils more heroes

A former airsoft player who now works in the same military unit where he once served, Vladyslav dreams of becoming an officer. His artificial hand is comfortable, he adds, though sometimes does not function properly. There are hardly any specialists able to properly fix such devices in Ukraine. His prosthetic was fitted with the help of Canadian and American volunteer doctors on a special mission here in Kyiv.  The hope is to have more specialists trained in this field in Ukraine.   

Read also 'The Victors' come to Toronto to tell their life-affirming stories of heroism and courage (photos)

28-year-old Andriy Zabigaylo worked as a policeman at a railway station. When the war burst out, he set off to the front. In the battle near Debaltseve in Donetsk region Zabigaylo lost his leg. After being operated the hero went through the rehabilitation in Vienna. Now the soldier walks properly.

Andriy Zabigaylo, 'The Victors' participant: "I strived for fighting for Ukraine. I did not think neither of money, nor of any other benefits. It is my own will."

Read also ‘Help The Heroes': Powerful images capture Ukrainian war amputees

Along with Zabigaylo, Oleksiy Zamirko also was in rehabilitation in Vienna. Now he dreams of establishing a similar medical centre in Ukraine.

Oleksiy Zamirko, 'The Victors' participant: "According to the law I am entitled to a piece of land. I would like to build up a rehabilitation centre. I have already talked to some doctors who know my friends from the front. But there is still long way ahead."

After two years of war in eastern Ukraine, Verkhovna Rada - that is Ukrainian parliament - started considering the law project 'About the rehabilitation system in Ukraine'. The authors claim its adoption will enable the complex rehabilitation and social integration for soldiers. The parliament has not registered the project as of yet.

Photo courtesy: Mykola Swarnyk




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