Lately, a young volunteer Vitaliy whose heavily injured leg we have been restoring within the Bioengineering Rehabilitation for Wounded project, has come over to the clinic again. We took advantage of the opportunity and met the guy before he gets on a surgical table to undergo another operation which is scheduled soon.
We can ascertain that despite Vitaliy is wearing a cumbersome gypsum bodice that benefits fusion of the leg bones, the guy looks much better and healthier that before. Vitaliiy feels good; he is welcoming us trying to hide his shyness. His story is difficult, interesting and tells about his bravery.
At the beginning of the war Vitaliy did not hesitate much: in the summer of 2014 he volunteered to the forefront. With the Shakhtarsk battalion, he was actively defending his homeland until the Ilovaisk tragedy happened where Vitalyi got wounded and was taken into hospital. Luckily, just in a month the man recovered and went back to his comrades. In March, Vitaliy joined the UNO battalion and fought near Pisky, in Donetsk airport vicinity. On the 8th of April, the guy got injured again: this time, the shell fragment injured his back. Still this guy of steel spent just one night in the hospital. Tomorrow, on the 13th of April, it is four years since Vitaliy’s third injury, the severest one. That time his group, while on a combat mission, entered a fierce battle during which Vitaliy sustained a shotgun injury to his leg and a shrapnel one to his eye.
Following that battle, Vitaliy also got arrested by terrorists, and despite they provided first medical aid to him, there was no opportunity to get any specialized treatment, so Vitaliy’s chances for complete recovery almost evaporated. When later, in a few months, the guy was back on the government controlled territory following the prisoners’ exchange, it turned out that the enemy bullet had badly damaged and almost smashed off the head of the thigh joint. During the treatment conducted in the terrorists’ hospital, osteomyelitis developed in the bone: infection destroyed the most part of the bone in the affected area.
Vitaliy spent certain period of time in military hospitals where doctors stabilized the guy’s condition and started to treat his leg, still it was to no success. They failed to overcome the infection, so the contaminated bone, despite being fixed with metal pins, did not fuse up. What was supposed to happen next? Amputation? Walking with crutches and lifetime disability?
Vitaliy himself recollects the course of events: within the Biotech, while in their affiliated clinic, doctors managed to overcome the infection almost at once. During the first stages of treatment, following the clearance of the injured area, surgeons put the guy’s leg back into its physiological position, as the severe injury Vitaliy had sustained resulted in considerable shortening and crumpling of his lower limb. In some time, the doctors prepared and transplanted the bone matrix filled with the patient’s own cells, into the affected area.
Unfortunately, at certain stage, unwanted complications began to develop: a sleeping bed of severe infection suddenly recurred, so the transplant did not work and the medical had to remove it. Also, the doctors decided not to take the risks that might follow the natural way of stretching the leg. Recently, another prolonged phase of treatment has been completed, and luckily it has had certain positive outcome. The bone that did not fuse up for years, has finally fused up. Still, the surgeons didn’t succeed in restoring its natural length so far.
At present, in view of the fact that Vitaliy’s organism has recovered from the consequences of his severe injuries and surgeries, the doctors are going to restore the guy’s leg using conventional methods. To achieve this, they will perform a controlled dissection of the affected bone, then fix the leg with the cumbersome Ilizarov apparatus on the leg aimed to keep the whole structure together and at the same time stretching it naturally, gradually, centimeter by centimeter. Therefore, the guy will need to wear the apparatus for another half of a year as a minimum.
Also, this means additional bills for medical services which we, the volunteers of People’s Project, have been paying for mostly at the expense of your donations. So we have to ask you for help one more time, dear friends. Despite Vitaliy’s leg looks like an almost healthy limb, still its functionality is limited as it lacks 6cm in length. Dear friends, we ask you to join in and support this brave guy with your kindhearted contributions. Because we just cannot leave our young defender to face his trouble on his own, can we?