Thursday, August 13, 2015

UCU Helps Ukraine: Roman Panchenko

Roman Panchenko was born in 1994 in Zaporizhzhia. He graduated from college as a welder and worked at the aircraft engine maker "Motor Sich". Since the beginning of the Anti-Terrorist Operation, he signed the contract with the Armed Forces of Ukraine. "I went into the army, because I wanted to serve, I believe that every man must serve in the army" – says Roma. His father too was a military guy and is retired now. Roma wanted to serve as a paratrooper – he went to the military base himself and got enlisted with the 25th separate Dnipropetrovsk Airborne Brigade. His mom Olga remembers the way he described his first parachute jump. "Everyone said it would be scary. And I waited for this scary feeling. We arrived at the airport, still not scary. Got on the plane – not scary. Everyone jumps – not scary. I jumped – what a beauty!!! I am delighted!!! Where is the fear? – Still no fear! Fear came on the third jump and my feet reacted, I could not feel them!" A year later, the war began. 
Roma was wounded at Krasny Lyman during the fight for the opposition checkpoint. The fight lasted almost all day, the paratroopers ran into the ambush and were fired at with machine guns and grenade launchers. And when it seemed that everything was over, Roman got out to get the water and was shot by the sniper. 

Seriously wounded, he was taken to the Kharkiv hospital where he was diagnosed with a blind penetrating gunshot thoraco-abdominal-vertebral injury with damage to the lungs and 10th thoracic vertebrae, spinal cord injury, damage to the spleen, lower paraplegia (leg paralysis). Originally, Roman was operated on in Kharkiv: the lungs were operated on, the spleen and spine were removed, and the spinal cord wrap-closed. Then he was transferred to Lviv. In the Lviv military hospital, during a complex operation, they installed titanium plates into Roman’s vertebra. After a long time in intensive care, he was transferred to the rehabilitation department. Roman’s rehabilitators were excellent: head of the department Rostyslavs Danylkova, Mariana Gordynska and Olexandra Kolondyak. Thanks to their joint efforts, the guy adapted to the new reality, learned to live in peace with his condition.

For personal courage and heroism in defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, loyalty to the military oath during the Russo-Ukrainian war, Roman was awarded the Order "For courage" III degree. 


However, in addition to a busy student life, Roman has a long way ahead in medical rehabilitation, which requires a lot of funding. His stay in the "Modrychi" centre costs 35 thousand hryvnia per month. We count on help from caring people!

To contribute toward Roman'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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