Tuesday, February 17, 2015

UCU Helps Ukraine: Serhiy Tovstyk

Over the next few weeks, UCU Helps Ukraine will be focussing our efforts toward helping hero Serhiy Tovstyk afford the two prostheses he needs to move on with his life - this brave father of two was a telecommunications engineer working for the Ukrainian army, 93rd Mechanized Brigade operating out of Dnipropetrovsk.

Last fall, his crew were installing some wires near a check point outside of Debaltseve when they heard over the radio that 3 tanks were approaching a weakly fortified position not too far away. Unable to stand idly by as 5 of their brothers faced impossible odds, they redeployed to help them.

On their way, they met 2 tanks that promptly started shelling their vehicle. Serhiy managed to inflict some damage on one of the tanks, but in the process, lost his left hand to the fire of the other. 

The 35-year old father from Dnipropetrovsk was met by his wife Olesia in Artemivsk. Only having received a quick phone call from Serhiy to inform her that he was in a hospital somewhere in the East, she took the train from Dnipropetrovsk all the way to Kostiantynivka (as far East as the trains go) and through the kindness and suggestions of strangers and Ukrainian soldiers, somehow managed to track down her husband to be by his side.

Through weeks of recovery at hospitals in Debaltseve and Artemivsk, Serhiy held to the hope that at least one of his hands could be saved, but unfortunately due to heavy blood loss and infection, it was not possible to save either. He maintains hope that with the right prostheses and therapy, he could very likely one day return to a job in telecommunications. He is currently continuing his rehabilitation at the Lviv Military Hospital, with Olesia by his side.

We also wanted to pass on a thank you from Ruslan Filipsonov, who will receive the first grant of $1,500 in financial aid from UCU members, a contribution that will greatly help toward the cost of therapy and prosthetics. We will post some update photos of Ruslan when they are available.

Lots of photos of the injured soldiers we are helping can be found on our Facebook page in the album UCU Helps Ukraine.

To contribute toward Serhiy's prosthetics, please visit your branch or contact the call centre at 1.800.461.0777 to make a donation.

Read the stories of some of our other heroes:

Questions and inquiries about this initative can be directed to the UCU Helps Ukraine committee, Kateryna Litvinjuk (klitvinjuk@ukrainiancu.com), Michael Zienchuk (mzienchuk@ukrainiancu.com), and Roman Mlynko (rmlynko@ukrainiancu.com).

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