“At first, I did not want to live.” Ukrainian nurse got married after Russian mine took her legs

“At first, I did not want to live.” Ukrainian nurse got married after Russian mine took her legs

 

First-hand accounts, More

Article by: Orysia Hrudka

Editor’s Note

On March 27, Oksana hit a Russian mine in Lysychansk. Both of her legs and four fingers were amputated. Victor was beside her when it happened and supported Oksana afterward. Recently they got married in a Lviv hospital ward.

Oksana: “I did not want to live like that. I didn’t want to be a burden to my family.”

I am 23 and I worked at the children’s hospital as a nurse in the neurology department. I have two children, a boy Illia and a girl Diana, and I have a wonderful husband. Probably because of him I am optimistic about life and continue to live.
On March 27, I hit a mine. My husband, our friend, and I were going home and we wanted to take as shortcut to go near the river. I have known this trail for a long time because I have been walking there since childhood. I walked a little ahead. I saw a shell sticking out of the ground and wanted to warn him. I turned halfway and just managed to shout “Dear, look.” He looked, and I flew up.
I fell face down on the ground. I heard an incredible rumble in my head. Then I rolled over and started trying to tear my clothes. It seemed to me that I did not have enough air. Viktor immediately ran to give me first aid. Then the ambulance came, they said that they would not be able to take me out of there and would wait for the emergency rescuers. But Viktor did not agree, and he and my stepfather brought me to the ambulance.

Oksana in Lviv hospital. Source: Lviv hospital

Oksana in the Lviv hospital. Source: Lviv hospital

The paramedic girl was young, scared, she had never seen such a thing. The bones, they were all shattered. Her hands were shaking. I told the nurse where to put the venous access. And that’s all. I thought I was suffocating. I asked for oxygen, but it there was none. I don’t know what injection I was given. It was as if I was unconscious. Although in fact, I was conscious all the way to the hospital.
I was taken to the hospital. My mother is also a nurse. And she was on her shift. I saw my mother and I shouted “Mommy,” they say, although I don’t remember it.

I don’t know how long the operation lasted. I had four operations at once: the amputation of the lower extremities to a third of the thigh, the amputation of four fingers on my left hand, and I also had a third degree of shock. And when I came to my senses, my mother and husband did not leave me.


Three days later, we arrived in Dnipro. There we were 24 days on treatment. I was coming to a rehabilitation course. I thank the girls a lot for the work done, they taught me to keep my balance. We worked with the legs, we were taught to apply bandages to properly shape the prostheses. On April 25, we were evacuated here, to Lviv.
I absolutely did not want to live. I have two children, I didn’t want them to see me disabled, I didn’t want to be a burden to my family. Nevertheless, thanks to the support, I finally accepted it. We need to live on, life does not end here. If God left me alive in this case, then so be it. We still need to live on.

Oksana on a rehabilitation program. Source: Oksana’s TikTok ~

Oksana on a rehabilitation program. Source: Oksana’s TikTok

We had been thinking of getting married officially for a long time, but somehow it never happened. And here we decided to finally tie the knot, quickly. My husband does not leave me for a moment and supports me in everything.
In the near future, we hope to get to Germany for prosthetic surgery. And then back to the kids. My children are now with my parents in Poltava Oblast. And we will live for them.
At home in Lysychansk, my parents kept a farm. We all had our own cheese, milk, and sour cream. However, they gave all this to their acquaintances because they were leaving with the whole family. Before that happened, my parents did not want to leave the city at all. And then we just had to do it. We left the house. I feel most sorry for our dog. But I really don’t know if we want to return to our city of Lysychansk.
Honestly, I’m afraid for the children. When the war is over, there will only be more [mines and explosive objects]… If the trail was mined near the river. My greatest wish is that everything would be fine with my children, that there will be no more such situations. My main goal is prosthetics. To stand up.

Viktor: “Then I was most afraid of losing her. I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t cry.”

The morning that day started as usual. Then we went home and decided not to take the usual path, and it all happened. She was blown up.
If it weren’t for Oksana, I don’t even know how it would have worked out. She is so strong. She did not even lose consciousness at that moment. She coordinated all our actions. At the moment when all this happened, I did not know what to do. She was not moving. Then she started moving.

Lysychansk married Oksana Viktor hospital

Oksana and Viktor. Source: Lviv hospital

We called an ambulance and had to explain where we are because it was not a specific address. The ambulance arrived very quickly… Oksana herself coordinated the actions of the paramedic. She is a nurse herself, she has experience. I do not know and probably never will know another person as strong as her. She was conscious all the way. She completely coordinated the actions.

Then I was most afraid of losing her. Honestly, I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t. Shock at the realization that all this is happening. Fear. Fear of losing a loved one. We have already lived in a civil marriage for six years. We will be fine. We have children, we will live on for them.

“Let’s tell our daughters we love them if we’re about to die in the fire.” How Russian shell hit my home


Now I live to help them. I can help physically but it is also very difficult now for Oksana psychologically. I try to be her support. Many people help, call. Only thanks to this support she is now doing OK. She is a very bright person, she is purposeful, and she achieves what she wants.

We even look similar. Some people think we are brother and sister. I think we can handle it all. God does not give trials we cannot overcome. We have a path, we follow it, everything will be fine with us.

Lysychansk married Viktor hospital

Oksana and Viktor in Lviv hospital. Source: Lviv hospital

What is my dream? If it was such a wish that everything could be done, I would simply rewind time. So all this would not have happened. Maybe we would have left our city earlier. And if you look even further, I wish this war would not be happening in our country. Too many people are suffering. Children. We are now talking in the hospital with people who lived nearby, for example from Severedonetsk, whom we would not have met if not for this trouble. They also have no legs.

The story is based on video interviews recorded by the press center of the First Lviv Hospital Association.

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