Espreso. Global

Mother of Ukrainian defender gives lessons to children from her son's hospital room

7 February, 2024 Wednesday

Volodymyr Ovsyanykov, 47, lost an arm and an eye in the war. His mother takes care of him. A teacher by profession, she gives online lessons to schoolchildren right from the ward


This was reported by the UNBROKEN National Rehabilitation Centre, according to Espreso.

At the UNBROKEN National Rehabilitation Centre, Volodymyr's mother is staying with her son, a defender from the village of Andriivka in the Dnipro region who has already undergone more than 20 operations. A teacher by profession, the woman gives online lessons to schoolchildren right from the ward.

Volodymyr Ovsyanykov, 47,lost an arm and an eye in the war. Just to save the intelligence officer's injured leg, the surgeons at the National Rehabilitation Centre UNBROKEN have already performed 10 surgeries. There are still a number of surgeries, long-term rehabilitation and prosthetics ahead.

According to the UNBROKEN Centre, the man decided to join the Armed Forces when the full-scale war began, but was denied due to his health condition. However, Volodymyr did not give up and continued applying to the military enlistment offices. In March, he got his way and joined the army. Since he was an avid hunter in civilian life and was good at tracking, he became a scout in the Armed Forces. He fought in Kherson and Donetsk regions. 

Volodymyr was seriously injured in July 2023. "There was a heavy shelling then," he recalls. - "The Russians attacked us from all sides. I was adjusting the fire. There was an explosion and one of my comrades-in-arms was wounded, I ran up to help him and at the same moment the enemy shot directly at us - I took the entire blow." 

Volodymyr Ovsyanykov was on the verge of life and death. The shrapnel cut almost all of the defender's body. He lost his right arm, part of his left fingers and an eye. The soldier's right leg was also severely injured. There was a high risk of amputation. After a series of hospitals, the fight to save Volodymyr's lower limb continued at the UNBROKEN Centre of the First Medical Unit of Lviv. The military was brought here five months ago in a serious condition. His mother, a teacher, came with Volodymyr. The woman does not leave her son for a day. And right in his hospital room, she continues to remotely read lessons to her students. 

"To save the defender's lower limb, we performed a series of difficult reconstructive surgeries - 10 in total. One of them was performed jointly with American surgeons. Namely, the restoration of bone integrity and free flap - transplantation of the patient's own soft tissue," the Centre says. 

In total, Volodymyr has already undergone about two dozen operations. The Ukrainian defender has about 10 more interventions ahead. To avoid complications, a physical therapist works with Volodymyr every day in the hospital. 

"We are working on the strength of the patient's muscles to prevent their atrophy, as well as contractures in his joints," says physical therapist Khrystyna Tsap.

"Volodymyr is already moving from bed to wheelchair on his own, and this is a great success"

In addition, Volodymyr Ovsyanykov is still to undergo a series of plastic surgeries to restore his face. This will be followed by months of rehabilitation and the installation of a modern prosthetic arm. 

But the man is highly motivated to recover. He said: "Despite everything, I dream of returning to the frontline. I know it won't be first line duty, but I want to be useful and help my fellow soldiers." 

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