Stories that you confided to us

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Stories that you confided to us

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Olha Hryshko
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"The doctor said, "It is a miracle that your son was left with an eye"

Her son was injured in the shelling of Mariupol on 24 January 2015. back then Oleksiy received fragment wounds and injured his forearms. The other misfortune happened when he found an unknown object. Alexei decided that it was a flashlight, connected it to the battery. That is when an explosion happened. The boy preserved his eyesight by miracle.

War is feeling of fear, fear for life. You worry not that much about yourself but about your children, your loved ones. Adults also want to live, but a child's life is very important for every parent. The worst thing is that children have to suffer.

It was creepy when tanks arrived in Skhidne for the first time. I will never forget it. I was at work at the far end of the town.

A friend called me, "We have tanks in Skhidne." And I have a little daughter in kindergarten! We were worried sick.

Son Oleksiy was injured in the shelling attack, which took place on 24 January 2015.

I was driving home from work and called home. My husband and children were at home. He said, "We have no water. Maybe Leshka will meet you halfway, and you will buy water together and come home?" Well, that is what we did.

We met in our small market. There was no water in the store. I said, "Let's go, I'll wait for you near the entrance, and you go to the store, which is located diagonally across our yard."

When we approached the entrance, we heard explosions. The sound of them intensified with each step..  But Leshka almost reached the middle of the courtyard, and I was approaching the entrance. Then I realised something was wrong. I started shouting at him, but it's like my head was covered with a pillow. I could not hear anything. And I seemed to be shouting down the drain.

I saw him running towards me. I tried to run into the entrance, to hide under the canopy, at least. I ran a little faster, and Leshka was  a little bit behind. Just as we were jumping in, a shell exploded nearby.

We had a car parked between the entrances – and a shell hit the car.

The doctor said,

It saved us. Glass, everything was destroyed. It was unexpected. We were shocked and started to go up to the 8th floor. I asked, "Lesha, are you all right?" He responded, "Yes, I am Ok." We went up to the 6th floor, and I saw that he was walking strangely.

He said, "Mom, I can't go." Then my husband came out to meet me. When we went home, we saw that he had blood all over his jeans.

They took them off, there was tape at hand. I took cotton wool and bandaged the wound. Husband ran for the car. It was complete turmoil and fuss. We gathered quickly and went to the hospital by car.

He stayed in hospital for two weeks. Fragments wounds. They were small. We decided not to  touch them, because we were afraid that we bring more damage.  They were eventually encapsulated. Both thighs and the arm were wounded. He was wearing a jacket. I never would have thought that it was possible, when he took it off, the jacket was intact, but the arm...  There was a cut on his forearm.

They sewed it up. Moreover, he was psychologically traumatised. The first night, actually... Well, there were speed bumps on the side road. He was even afraid of knocking when cars passed through them.

The doctor said,

And the second time he found something nasty on the street and brought it home. He thought it was, as he said, a small laser flashlight. He decided to check it. So he connected it to the battery, and it exploded. He was also taken to a local hospital and then admitted in Zaporizhzhia hospital. Then we were sent to Odessa to undertake eye treatment.

In Zaporizhzhia, the fragment was removed from the eye, then another one, a deep one, was removed in Odessa. He has scars all over his body... The doctor who gave us first aid said that he was lucky to have an eye. 

That day, he came home from school, I was walking with the youngest on the street. I said, "Lesha, go home, eat and sit down to do your homework, so we don't bother you." We just returned in half an hour, and this happened at home. He opened the door and stood like this... I didn't understand what happened at all. Then we called an ambulance. 

The very first call was made after the shooting from the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation.

They immediately called and said that they have everything we need.

They also helped us when we were in Odessa. Then they called more than once to find out about Oleksiy's condition. And a trip to the rehabilitation center in Zaporizhzhia was organized. It is great that there are good people. Rinat Akhmetov helps people a lot. God bless him. We appreciate his support deeply. He provides not only medication support, but also psychological assistance.

The doctor said,

War is feeling of fear, fear for life. You worry not that much about yourself but about your children, your loved ones. Adults also want to live, but a child's life is very important for every parent. The worst thing is that children have to suffer.

Of course, a person gets used to everything. However, even now when I walk along Skhidne, I remember all these fragments that I saw and wonder: maybe this all did not happen. I would like to believe so.  Let's hope that the war will end soon and the suffering of people will end.

I want not to be afraid, to live in peace. Now you still listen to every rustle, every noise. I wish that the war would end soon. To be 100% sure that there will be no more explosions.

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