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Maksym and Yuliia Shepelskyis

"The air was dusty, and I was deafened right away. I lifted my pant leg, because I thought I was wounded"

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Maksym Shepelskyi, 16 years old:

The air was dusty, and I was deafened right away. I lifted my pant leg, because I thought I was wounded

My friend and I were minding goats. Shooting started somewhere in the distance. Some kind of a mortar started hitting from the checkpoint, which is located not far from us. Well, everything seemed fine at first. Then a mine flew to some man's house. We went there to have a look. I called home and said we were coming. Well, I didn't have time to turn my head when I heard this deafening sound. I couldn't hear anything. I lifted my pant leg, because I thought I was wounded. My friend seemed fine. He got up and we went further.

Then we called an ambulance. The ambulance refused to go because of the shooting. Anyway, the ambulance arrived and we went to the hospital.

The air was dusty, and I was deafened right away. I lifted my pant leg, because I thought I was wounded

I was questioned at the hospital. They asked us where we were and how it happened? They even asked me question where it came from. But I didn't even know the answer to that question. It was such a distinct sound. Bang! Then it got quiet. We didn't hear  such sounds any more.

To be honest, I was confused. What should we have done? Most goats ran away, but some of them just lay there. I tried to walk, but I felt like something was holding me back. I lifted my pant leg and saw that I was hurt.ло.

My sister bandaged the wound. A friend's knee was also injured. His knee cap, to be exact. I had a moderately severe injury. They said that one fragment got into the ligaments, and the other went under the nerve. They said I could lose the leg if they pulled it out from under the nerve.

The air was dusty, and I was deafened right away. I lifted my pant leg, because I thought I was wounded

Sometimes my knees ache. They hurt when the weather changes, when it's cloudy. They removed the cast. I had to do some exercise. First, I had to use a stick. Then, after a while, it got better. I had to exercise. I rode a bicycle, and, little by little, I started walking normally.

I also exercise at PE lessons. However, I can't do everything others do. I can't do roll-ups. The physical teacher didn't know that and said, "Why are you standing?" I said I had a fragment wound. "How's that?" So he said, "You can't roll, you can't squat, but you can run." Moreover, the doctors told me I could run, but not so much.

I would like to express my gratitude to Rinat Akhmetov for paying for my operation and paying for my trip. I don't even know how to explain it, it really means a lot. I really like it here. We just wanted to get away from those armed hostilities. When I was at home, I went to bed at about 10:00 - 11:00 p.m. because of the shooting. Now I can go to bed at 09:00 p.m.  I don't have to worry about the shooting any more.

Older sister Yuliia:

The air was dusty, and I was deafened right away. I lifted my pant leg, because I thought I was wounded

He has a fragment wound. Every month he needs to get the fluid that accumulates in the knee joint removed.

I was home then. Maksym gazed goats with a friend. And then they started shooting very hard. Maksym was injured. He was hurt, as well as his friend. A friend had all the pieces removed. But Maksym didn't. One fragment still remains inside. I remember that I treated their wounds and tried to provide first aid.

Similar cases happen almost every week. Fragments and shells fall all the time. They get into houses. People are suffering. Maksym can count himself lucky!

Maksym was offered   rehabilitation. We got a call from the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, and they  offered assistance. We probably wouldn't have made it otherwise. If it wasn't for their help, I don't know what would have happened now.

When quoting a story, a reference to the source – the Museum of Civilian Voices of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation – is mandatory, as follows:

The Museum of Civilian Voices of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation https://civilvoicesmuseum.org/

Rinat Akhmetov Foundation Civilian Voices Museum
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