Rebuilding bodies shattered by violence in Ukraine

Click play to watch the report from Action News
March 25, 2014 2:54:39 PM PDT
A young man from Ukraine who suffered severe injuries in the violent protests there is now in Philadelphia for medical care.

He is 21-years old Roman Dzivinskyi of Ukraine. His story is both scary and heart-breaking.

Action News spoke with him about what's happening in Ukraine, his hope for his home country, and his gratitude for the people helping him.

"He has little pigment metal fragments," says Dr.Joanna Fisher of Valley Eye Professionals, as she examined the eyes of Dzivinskyi.

Dzivinskyi has shrapnel in both eyes, his left hand is gone and his right hand is severely damaged.

"He never thought something like this could happen," he says, through Dr. Zenia Chernyk of the Ukranian Federation of America.

Dzivinskyi says he was helping the protest in Kiev.

They had been receiving supplies, so when a man gave him a package labeled medication, he opened it without much thought. It immediately exploded.

"He said he went to the doctors himself but he was in a state of shock. It was like he was walking in some nightmare," he said through Dr. Chernyk.

When he woke from his fog, he realized his hand was gone, and his skin was speckled from the explosion.

Dzivinskyi got care in Ukraine and also in Poland, but Doctor Chernyk is helping him and dozens of others get advanced medical care in the United States and other countries.

She tells Action News that as a physician she feels obligated to help. As a Ukranian-American, she feels compelled to help.

"It's very important for us to support democracy and support people who are brave enough to fight for it," she says.

Dzivinskyi will see a specialist about his hands.

And Doctor Joanna Fisher of Valley Eye Professionals was also happy to help.

"Of course, my first thought was, 'Let's take care of him, bring him in and see what's happening,'" says Dr. Fisher.

Through Dr. Chernyk, Dzivinskyi says, "He says he is grateful because doctors in Ukraine are overwhelmed."

Doctor Fisher will work with him to get his vision as clear as possible.

The hope is also to get him fitted for a prosthetic for his left hand.

As for his homeland, Dzivinskyi says he is hoping for the best, but he fears the worst.


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