The other day one project participant in Bioengineering Rehabilitation for Wounded left the iLaya clinic. However, Oleksiy‘s depearture is only temporary, and full recovery is still a long way off, but the next stage of treatment was successful. Oleksiy has overcome terrible infection, the external fixation device was removed and he has been referred for intermediate rehabilitation. Oleksiy will now spend some time at home to restore his strength while doctors prepare for the next stage of treatment. The soldier is suffering from extensive injuries compounded by further serious complications. Now doctors have stopped the pathological processes and can focus on the reconstruction and restoration of Oleksiy’s leg. His treatment was possible only through people’s donations towards the fighter’s recovery – more than half a million UAH collected by volunteers of The People’s Project.
Oleksiy can be considered one of the most difficult cases, not only in the history of the Bioengineering Rehabilitation for Wounded project, but in modern traumatology in general. For seven months he and doctors fought to overcome the infection and save his leg from amputation. There is still a month of difficult recovery ahead of him. Oleksiy followed the call of his heart and joined the ranks of the Ukrainian volunteer corps “Right Sector”. He was wounded in February 2015 at Donetsk Airport, during a fire-fight a shell exploded near Oleksiy’s feet. Debris tore away the tissue and muscles from his legs.
In hospitals worse was to come: his right leg healed, but the left took a turn for the worst. His seriously broken bones would not coalesce, meanwhile the healing of his muscles and connective tissues was serious complicated by infection. Doctors were left shaking their heads – meaning no cure, only amputation, seemed an option. This was not the outcome Oleksiy wanted for himself and he changed from hospital to hospital. He underwent 10 surgeries that stabilized the leg’s condition a little. To the tibia the entire length was fitted with a giant orthopedic pin, but the second bone was missing a huge section of bone. You can see this in the x-ray:
Oleksiy’s left foot: fragments of the tibia pinned for the whole length. Fibula bone fragment lacking large section.
From there the situation only got worse: the tissue of the leg was struck with infection. It rapidly spread to the bones – the rapid osteomyelitis began to consume the bones alive. The leg became severely swollen, again raising the question of amputation.
Fortunately, Oleksiy put an end to the trial-and-error medical treatment he was recieving and applied to the project Bioengineering Rehabilitaion for Wounded. People’s Project volunteers collected the necessary funds – about half-a-million UAH donated for his treatment by concerned citizens and philanthropists, while doctors at the Kyiv-based iLaya Medical Company got down to business. The long struggle for Oleksiy would now conclude in their hands: first to focus on removal of the gangrenous infection and the several plastic surgeries to set the leg tissues into their future shape.
To restore the bones from the wreckage of the tibia the Ilizarov apparatus must be removed, later at the site of the bone defects doctors plan to use biological implants grown from the patient’s own cells. There is still much work to do but at least Oleksiy has a chance to recover. In comparison with the inevitable amputation of legs.
Unfortunately, Oleksiy is not the only wounded Ukrainian fighter who needs high-tech treatment as part of the project Bioengineering Rehabilitation for Wounded. There are dozens of defenders for whom conventional medicine is simply unable to help, and treatment using cell technology is not state funded. That’s why for Ukraine’s wounded to return to normal life only you – only your donations help provide them with the necessary treatment. For many of them it is the only and last chance.