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Yekaterina Umanets: ‘The Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center became my second family’


On August 8, the Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center presented to Katya Umanets, a girl from Antratsit who became a disabled person of the first group as a result of military operations, a wheelchair designed and manufactured specially for her in Germany. Aleksandr Vishnyakov, director of the Humanitarian Center, came to the rehabilitation center in Slavyansk, where Katya is being treated to personally present a new wheelchair to the girl. 

For the first time, the Humanitarian Center provided assistance for the rehabilitation of Yekaterina Umanets in December 2015. A year earlier, Katya standing at the bus stop in her native Antratsit came under fire and suffered two gunshot wounds. The bullet nicked through the right half of the chest and the abdominal cavity. The girl had a terrible diagnosis: chest wound and complete spinal cord injury.

According to the statistics, only 5% of people with spinal cord injury of such severity are able to leave their bed over time. The doctors strongly recommended parents to apply to the rehabilitation center to help their daughter. Otherwise, the muscles will inevitably atrophy.

The girl's mother called the hotline of the Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center and the feedback was not slow to arrive: Katya was paid a voucher to the specialized center in Slavyansk. And almost in a month later the girl learned to stand. After a while, the Humanitarian Center helped Katya with the acquisition of special orthopedic appliances – body jacket and orthoses. With their help, Katya began to take her first steps.

Despite the success in the struggle against the suffered wounds, Yekaterina desperately needs a good wheelchair, as she said during her address at the annual report of the Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center. The Center did not ignore the girl’s request and especially for Katya a wheelchair has been ordered in Germany.

‘Dear Katya, you know how we are concerned and take care of your fate in the Humanitarian Center, Aleksandr Vishnyakov, director of the Humanitarian Center, addressed the girl. During our last meeting in Kiev, you were keen to share your dream to have fewer obstacles for movement, life and work. We remembered your request and the Humanitarian Center purchased for you a maneuverable wheelchair which you can easily run. This was possible thanks to Rinat Akhmetov, who established the Humanitarian Headquarters with the sole purpose to support civilians from Donbass who were hard hit by the war.’

The girl was incredibly happy and expressed her deepest gratitude to the Center and Rinat Akhmetov for such great support.

‘Three years ago a great tragedy happened to me. Since that moment I realized that you should never give up! When my mother sought assistance from the Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center, I was immediately supported and I am being supported so far. I have never been supported in such a way by anyone else. The Humanitarian Center became my second family,’ Katya Umanets said fighting back tears.

Actually, within the project ‘Rehabilitation of Wounded Children’, the Humanitarian Center rendered medical aid to 71 wounded children among them 65 children underwent rehabilitation in the sanatoria of Ukraine and 6 more children received technical means of rehabilitation and drugs.

Katya Umanets is one of them; she is a real example of courage and resilience. The Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center will continue to watch closely the fate of the girl.