5 Ukrainian soldiers travel to US to receive prosthetic limbs

Five injured Ukrainian soldiers who lost limbs in the war with Russia were treated in Minneapolis and are now heading home.But before they go, they’re helping raise money to help others like them.At a fundraising event last week, the soldiers who refused to stand down received a standing ovation from Minneapolis community members. And now they too are being given a second chance to stand up.A Russian missile attack nearly killed Maksim Shevchenko, crippling him for the rest of his life. Shevchenko said that being able to stand on stage last week with his fellow soldiers was a symbol of their fight for freedom.”Freedom in choice, in language, in movement and in actions,” Shevchenko said, translated from Ukrainian to English by Minneapolis television station WCCO. “Just freedom in everything.”It was a Twin Cities physician that rallied the area’s Ukrainian community to raise money to bring Shevchenko and four other soldiers over to the U.S. to fit them for prosthetics. “I feel motivated and more complete having this new leg,” Shevchenko said. “I can do things like normal people and do the things I can do before I had this trauma.”Shevchenko said America is like another planet to him, having come over from his war-torn home. He said he feels like he is living in a movie.The Hollywood story, though, is incomplete without a supporting cast — and that starts with Dr. Yakov Gradinar, the doctor who rallied to bring the soldiers over.”It’s not only me. It’s multiple members of the team — physical therapists with occupational therapists, and psychologists,” Dr. Gradinar said. “We are all coming together to help them to become functional again.”According to Dr. Gradinar, it usually takes two to three months before prosthetic patients are walking and running on their own. The soldiers, however, were able to do it in a matter of weeks. The plan now is to return them to Ukraine soon, and, possibly, to active duty, even in a limited capacity.”It’s not up to me to decide what they can perform in the military, but it’s my point — I want them to be as close as can be before their injury,” Dr. Gradinar said. Watch the video above for more on this story.

Five injured Ukrainian soldiers who lost limbs in the war with Russia were treated in Minneapolis and are now heading home.

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But before they go, they’re helping raise money to help others like them.

At a fundraising event last week, the soldiers who refused to stand down received a standing ovation from Minneapolis community members. And now they too are being given a second chance to stand up.

A Russian missile attack nearly killed Maksim Shevchenko, crippling him for the rest of his life. Shevchenko said that being able to stand on stage last week with his fellow soldiers was a symbol of their fight for freedom.

“Freedom in choice, in language, in movement and in actions,” Shevchenko said, translated from Ukrainian to English by Minneapolis television station WCCO. “Just freedom in everything.”

It was a Twin Cities physician that rallied the area’s Ukrainian community to raise money to bring Shevchenko and four other soldiers over to the U.S. to fit them for prosthetics.

“I feel motivated and more complete having this new leg,” Shevchenko said. “I can do things like normal people and do the things I can do before I had this trauma.”

Shevchenko said America is like another planet to him, having come over from his war-torn home. He said he feels like he is living in a movie.

The Hollywood story, though, is incomplete without a supporting cast — and that starts with Dr. Yakov Gradinar, the doctor who rallied to bring the soldiers over.

“It’s not only me. It’s multiple members of the team — physical therapists with occupational therapists, and psychologists,” Dr. Gradinar said. “We are all coming together to help them to become functional again.”

According to Dr. Gradinar, it usually takes two to three months before prosthetic patients are walking and running on their own. The soldiers, however, were able to do it in a matter of weeks.

The plan now is to return them to Ukraine soon, and, possibly, to active duty, even in a limited capacity.

“It’s not up to me to decide what they can perform in the military, but it’s my point — I want them to be as close as can be before their injury,” Dr. Gradinar said.

Watch the video above for more on this story.

Contributed by local news sources

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