Monday, July 6, 2015

UCU Helps Ukraine: Mykhaylo Lyalya

Mykhaylo Lyalya was born on 03.10.1992, in Svydnytsia, Yavoriv district of Lviv region. He graduated from an art school in Ivano Frankove with a woodworker diploma. He signed a contract with the army and served as a driver of an armoured personnel carrier with the 24th Brigade. 

«I was wounded on February 10, 2015, – says Mykhaylo, – on that day, our company was on the offensive at Debaltseve. We had to retreat to Luhanske and stayed there for more than an hour, waiting for our leader which was away at the commanding post to get the orders from the 30th Brigade commander. The leader came back and ordered us to go back to the check point where we were stationed before. There were nine vehicles, but only eight departed, as mine was late because we were in the open and got shelled by Grad missiles. One round exploded close to our vehicle and I got wounded in the hand. I was lying beside the vehicle while the second shell exploded and I went unconscious. I don’t remember anything and they told me that they were putting the survivors into a Nissan truck when it was hit by a mortar shell. The truck started rolling like a ball and hit a tank. A petty officer carried me to an army truck and took me to a hospital in Artemivsk. I was unconscious for two days. I regained consciousness on February 12 and immediately asked a nurse for a cell phone, called my mom and went unconscious again. My parents arrived on the 14th.» He was barely alive when he was transferred to the resuscitation ward in a Dnipropetrovsk hospital. Later, he was transferred to the Kyiv Military Hospital. Once he was out of the coma, he immediately tried to calm his mother down and promise her to start walking again at any price…

Diagnosis: polytrauma. Multiple rib fractures. Bilateral hematoraks. Drainage of both pleural areas, laparocentesis. Skalping wound of the head. Forward-side fracture of Th2-Th3 with broken spinous outgrowths, transverse fracture of the arches and the right cubital tissues and joints of the left carpal joint. An accrete fracture of a subulate appendix of the spoke-bone. Injuries to upper eyelids of the left eye. 


«In Artemivsk, the doctors told me that I would never walk again, but the doctors in the Kyiv hospital said that the chance for me to walk again was 70%. Doctor Yaminsky from the Romodanov’s Institute of Neurosurgery visited me and offered an operation. I agreed and they were getting me ready for the operation for three weeks, but they had to delay it after I went unconscious just before the operation because I was so anxious. After the operation, I had a couple of rough days, but, on the third day, I felt better and started feeling my legs. In five days, they started putting me in a sitting position on the bed and the chair. After this hospital, I was transferred to the rehabilitation unit of the Lviv Military Hospital. The surgeons there examined my spine and said that the structure in my spine had moved and they prohibited me from sitting. My dad took my x-rays back to the surgeon who operated on me in Kyiv. The surgeon said that my spine should be like that and will remain lightly bended, and that I don’t need a new operation… Currently, I am just planning to try and learn to sit».

During the operation in Kyiv, the surgeon put a special gel into Mykhaylo’s vertebras and installed metallic plates. This structure indeed could have moved during Mykhaylo’s transfer to the Lviv hospital. The doctors in Lviv found that a sharp edge of the bone is threatening to damage the spine cord, and there is only 1/3 of the cord left anyway. They are saying that Mykhaylo needs an urgent operation. Mykhaylo and his parents would like to get other opinions and further examination by neurosurgeons, for which they need money. Mykhaylo’s family is not well-off, his parents have sold everything they could to help their son.

To contribute toward Mykhaylo's treatments and therapies, please visit your branch or contact the call centre at 1.800.461.0777 to make a donation.

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

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
Michael Zienchuk
Roman Mlynko

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