09 April 2024

After landmine horror, Ukrainian teenager hopes to walk again

It is dark in 16-year-old Yaroslav's bedroom – the windows of his small home in Izium, Ukraine are covered with thick wooden shutters to protect those inside from shrapnel. There is no electricity due to recent shelling and the only source of light in his room is the blue screen of a smartphone, on which he is watching a video about how to wear a…, “We lived in a gymnasium with beds”, Today was supposed to be the day that Yaroslav visited the hospital in Kharkiv to have a cast made for his prosthesis. However, yesterday, shelling damaged power networks and, without a stable power supply, the hospital was forced to postpone Yaroslav’s appointment. This is not the first time that the war has crushed Yaroslav’s dreams. When the…, "My father saved me", Yaroslav wishes that dreadful October day in 2023 had never happened and often thinks about what he could have done differently. That day, the teenager rode his moped to their village to help his father to clear the rubble. But the moped's chain slipped and he veered off the road into the grass, hitting a flower-petal landmine. "I remember a very…, “I would like to be able to walk”, Today, Yaroslav’s hobbies and friends are the main sources of joy in life. He attends school online and rarely leaves the house due to his injury. With a prosthesis, he hopes to be able to make plans for the future once more.   "I would like to be able to walk and ride a moped or a motorbike as soon as possible," he says, sadly. Image After more…