The Protez Prosthetic Center is a joint project with two brothers, both Ukrainian, one living in Minnesota, the other here in Mukachevo. There are over 15,000 amputees and they need prosthetic limbs to heal. This organization has brought over 30 patients to the USA for complex prosthetics . There are over 750 on the waiting list. They can do adjustments of the prosthetics here and are starting to make them here. There were men at the Center doing physical therapy with their new limbs. One, a 34 year old from a special ops unit, was working so hard because he wants to return to his unit. When asked why he said “Because this is my country”. The other man was a 22 year old adjusting to his above knee prosthesis. He looked tired and sad but grateful to have the prosthesis. AGAIN – IT IS LIMB SAVING ORTHO EQUIPMENT WE BRING!!!!!!!!
The sirens went off three times during the day. It is a bit unnerving but everyone just looks up and goes about their day. There are many people in military uniforms and many were on crutches.There is a military hospital here where Yuriy Demyan the ortho trauma surgeon provides care.
Three of us took the night train from Mukachevo to Kyiv. A little over 12 hours. It was a sleeper car but not very comfy. Today in Kyiv, right outside the train station, is a high rise with all the windows blown out from a missile. There is a line of memorials, images of men and women, their ages and where they were from and their professions with flowers and candles lining the street near our hotel. Then a mass of flags with names and dates . So many young people . . . so many.
It seems the city just goes about their day. The sirens went off four or five times for a short while but nobody went to a shelter. People have just learned to live with the war and the possibility of a missile attack. The war is not here but raging on the eastern front. Our hotel does have a bomb shelter, four stories below the main floor. We were oriented to it. We will keep our shoes, coats and passports next to our bed to grab if we need to.
Tomorrow we are meeting up with two trauma surgeons to bring supplies.
Back in Ukraine with Valerie Hellerman and the Hands on Global team.