Katya Umanets: impossible is nothing. BLOG of Natalia Yemchenko, Director of Public Relations and Communications of SCM
Imagine that you are 17 years old; you live in a small industrial city. You are in love, the whole life is before you and it seems like everything is possible. You are a young girl – Katya, Katenka, Katyusha. And now imagine that the war is coming to your city and meets you with spurts of fire, two serious wounds, and spine trauma. The war takes away your health, ability to walk. Its evil force affects you while you are standing at the bus stop in the evening after having a date; it appears as a scoundrel who shoots live people for fun.
This is a real story of Katya Umanets, a wonderful girl from Antratsit. This story is one in a thousand among the stories about the war in Donbass. This is a story of faith, hope and charity. This is a story of struggle. This is a story of overcoming difficulties. I do believe that this is a happy ending story. And I have good ground to hope that miracle will happen.
Katya's will, great self-improvement and help of those who believe in her are the key milestones of overcoming difficulties.
Katya suffers chest wound and spinal cord injury. Katya's legs are disabled; she is not able to walk. Only 5% of people with such a complex spine trauma are able to leave their bed over the years. Such statistics are cited by the doctors. And you need a will to get into these 5%, a great will to live life to the fullest, to study, to establish yourself as a professional and to start a family. And Katya is a bright example of such a will, belief in herself and love for life.
The doctors strongly recommended Katya's parents to apply to the rehabilitation center to help their daughter. Long-term immobility of legs can cause total atrophy of the muscles. The muscles need to be kept sharp day by day in order for Katya is able to walk one day.
Every day Katya is labouring to revitalize her body. Hours of hard work. For your own sake, as it is outside your power to evade wound. But you can change your attitude: ‘It is hurting, but this moment has already happened and you are unable to change it. You have to get out of this situation somehow, find a way out, keep moving and live somehow’.
Katya is a ‘fighter’; her story inspires me to do a little bit more every day than I can.
A lot of surgeries. Rehabilitation courses. New chances. And efforts. Great efforts in order to get into these very 5%.
And the efforts bring results, amazing results.
Firstly I met Katya in December 2015. Her mother called the hotline of the Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center. Soon the girl took special rehabilitation course in Slavyansk and almost a month later she felt legs.
Katya was not ready to rest. She was eager to take the first steps again, like in childhood. The Humanitarian Center ordered special orthopedic orthoses and body jacket for her. Then there were two more rehabilitation courses.
She has done the unthinkable for 3 years. She is able to walk about the house again, even in the orthoses. She is able to stand in the body jacket for about 60 minutes. I believe that this is just 60 minutes.
Katya is working on herself and dreaming of her study, future occupation, movements around the city without obstacles … But to do this, she needs a new wheelchair. To be faster. To be one step ahead to her long-cherished goal.
The Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center ordered a wheelchair for Katya which she can easily run to move around the city by herself. Actually, wheelchairs enabling disabled people to move around the city open the door to a bigger world. This is a great opportunity to be integrated into ordinary life and to live life to the fullest before recovery, to work, to study, to keep moving and to go out without the help of another person. The wheelchair was presented in Slavyansk. An hour later, it was mastered and utilized. ‘Thanks a lot,’ Katya says, ‘Akhmetov is a kind magician.’
Katya highly appreciates the Humanitarian Center and its support. And, in general, contribution of every person is infinitely important. Firstly, she understands that people believe in her. Secondly, orthoses, rehabilitation, modern wheelchair are very expensive. And without such support, Katya and her family could not afford them.
Katya is one of 76 wounded children who have attended rehabilitation courses from the Humanitarian Center. I am very anxious to see these children living life to the fullest, with minimum obstacles on their path in order to get through the challenges. And Katya's example shows that it is important to believe in yourself, to work on yourself and to ask for help where you cannot do it by yourself.
‘Three years ago a great tragedy happened to me. Since that moment I realized that you should never give up! I believe and I can!‘ Katya says. And I believe in her. I know that she will be able to live, to love and to find herself. Maybe even to help others, at least, by her own example.