Article by: Olena Usenko, TSN correspondent
A soldier of the Donbas Battalion and a Mariupol girl got married at the Hospital for the Disabled in Kremenchuk. The wedding was celebrated despite the groom’s serious condition and dim prospects for recovery after a severe wound to the head.
Yevhen Salenko met Svitlana Tsykylok during a brief lull in the fighting near Shyrokyne. Svitlana, a volunteer from Mariupol fed the Donbas soldier with borshch; Yevhen fell in love and promised to marry her. At first, everyone thought it was a joke. Four days later, Yevhen was severely wounded; his whole body was pierced by shell fragments. Pieces of a shell were lodged in the brain. Svitlana searched for the wounded soldier in all the hospitals of Mariupol. As soon as Yevhen woke up, she promised never to leave him again even though she knew that the injuries might confine Yevhen to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
The young soldier heard the final “yes” from Svitlana at the Kremenchuk Hospital, after five difficult months of intense treatment. Today, the whole hospital watches and witnesses what miracles can be accomplished thanks to dedicated doctors and true love.
“When Yevhen arrived at the hospital, he refused to allow medical personnel to approach his bed. Svitlana was there, and she responded to all his movements; she did everything for him. Even wives do not take such good care of their men as Svitlana did… and they weren’t even married yet. It was so sincere and touching to see those two together!” commented Tetiana Fostiy, senior nurse of the Neurological Ward.
“He’s recovering slowly. He’s able to move his right hand now. We’re trying to help him all we can.” said Mykola Lytvynenko, director of the hospital.
The marriage ceremony took place in the hospital, where the medical staff and many patients gathered to celebrate the newlyweds. This love story touched every guest, even the battle-hardened men who came from the frontlines to congratulate the happy couple.
“Such wonderful stories show how important it is for a soldier to feel that he is not fighting in vain, that his injuries and suffering have meaning.” remarked Mykola Kravchenko, Yevhen’s comrade from the Donbas Battalion.