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“Some Shell Fragments Are Still in Our Son’s Legs”: The Wounded 7-Year-Old Boy From Chernihiv Underwent a Rehabilitation Course Organized by the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation


Seven-year-old Dmytro from Chernihiv and his family survived real horror in the spring of 2022, both during the devastating Russian strikes on the city and the evacuation. On their way, they came under shellfire. The whole family suffered, but Dmytro suffered the most. The boy received a mine-blast trauma to both knee joints that led to impaired musculoskeletal function. Such an injury requires more than one course of rehabilitation, so it was organized for the child for the second time by the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation.

“We are undergoing the second course of rehabilitation here at Borzhava sanatorium. It is a very nice place. We are asked if we have any particular needs. We are very grateful to the Foundation because it is difficult for us to afford it ourselves. We are very grateful that during the war, Rinat Akhmetov finds strength and possibilities and helps people. This is a really big contribution,” says the boy’s mother, Tetiana.

The woman says that in just a year Dima [short for Dmytro] developed severe scoliosis – a curvature of the spine – because of the injury. Doctors attribute this to the fact that he probably fell during the shelling, but neither the mother nor the son can remember in detail how everything happened then. Tetiana remembers only some fragments.

“The sound of an explosion, and we must have fallen immediately. I felt like I was dying. I felt terribly calm... And then I heard Dima calling me. I tried to get up and looked at his legs, not yet understanding what kind of injuries he received. I picked him up and walked through the dust,” recalls Tetiana, the boy’s mother.

The family tried to take Dmytro out, but the shelling attacks continued. The injured parents would lie down, covering their injured boy with their bodies in order to protect him. Then volunteers and soldiers took the child to the hospital. In the rescuer’s arms, the boy only kept saying that he wanted to sleep, while his mother asked not to let him fall asleep. The next morning, despite their own wounds, the parents themselves took their son to Kyiv.

“We came to Okhmatdyt. Dima was operated on first, then me, and then my husband. We underwent a treatment course there for a month. Dima could not walk after the operation. He is in constant need of rehabilitation procedures. Three [shell] fragments remained in his legs, because it was safer not to take them out,” says the mother, adding that now the boy is feeling much better.

The participants of the project Rinat Akhmetov for Children. Rehabilitation of Injured Children can be children under the age of 18 who received physical injuries or wounds of any severity level during hostilities in Ukraine in the period from 24 February 2022.
An application can be submitted at the link:
For clarification inquiries, please contact the Foundation’s toll-free hotline: 0 (800) 509 001.