Oleksandr grew up small village in Ukraine with his mom and younger brother. When Oleksandr was eight years old, he was diagnosed with scoliosis, a deformation of the spine. Instead of forming a straight line, his spine was slowly taking on an “S” shape. Over the years, his mother tried many nonsurgical treatments for Oleksandr, hoping to alleviate his pain.
By age 14, his condition worsened significantly. His spinal curve was visible, and he felt a sharp pain in his back while sitting and standing. One of his rib cages became higher than the other, which caused breathing and heart problems. Surgery was the only solution to these complicated issues.
The needed surgery would be more expensive than Oleksandr’s mother could afford. Their home village kindly offered to collect money to help the family cover expenses, which helped them pay their medical bills. In December 2018, Oleksandr was operated on, and the curves in his spine were realigned using two metal rods and 26 screws.
The procedure has brought considerable relief to Oleksandr. His pain has decreased, and his spinal curve is no longer so visible. His family, however, faced another hurdle. They had completely depleted their savings, and had nothing left to pay for the rehabilitation therapy that Oleksandr desperately needed to recuperate and build strength in his back, legs, and spine.
Oleksandr’s mom turned to our Ternopil site staff to ask for assistance. We launched a critical needs fund for $3983 CAD to cover a three week therapy program at a rehabilitation center in a neighboring town. Our incredible donors jumped in, and fully funded Oleksandr’s therapy. In the program, he underwent specialized exercise and massage aimed to help him walk and sit normally.
Since receiving therapy, Oleksandr has made big progress in his recovery. He’s able to walk much longer, sit down, and bend his knees that he could not move after the surgery. He’s also been able to completely stop using pain relievers!
Even though Oleksandr has come a long way, he’s still not recovered enough to go back to school. His teachers have made a special effort to visit him at home with lessons and homework!
“Oleksandr is very happy now,” smiles Luba our Ternopil site director. “His mother and his younger brother are also grateful for the support received. The family praises God for endowing them the assistance needed. Thank you for making a difference for them.”