“You can’t imagine what happiness it is to finally look into the eyes of your “half”, Mr. Serhiy admits in a conversation with the Espresso journalist.
A week ago, in Katowice, Poland, in the ophthalmology department of the District Railway Hospital, he was transplanted with an artificial cornea. The patient saw on the first day after transplantation. The surgeon who performed the transplant is a well-known Polish doctor, the chief ophthalmologist of Katowice, the head of the department and clinical department of ophthalmology of the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the Silesian Medical University in Zabrze, Edward Wilengala. In a comment to Onet Śląsk, he noted that it was the most exciting moment in his professional career.
Serhii and Tamara came to Poland to escape the war. “Approximately a month after the full-scale invasion, we decided that we would go to my wife’s brother in Katowice. After that, we returned to Ukraine, because we had a son at home. But then we went to Poland again,” says the Paralympian.
The man is a judoka, Honored Master of Sports of Ukraine and World Champion. He participated in the Paralympic Games in Sydney, Athens and Beijing. He won a bronze medal in “Pydnebesnaya” and became the first Ukrainian Paralympian in this sport.
In Ukraine, he says, he had no chance of recovering his sight.
The head of the Zhytomyr Regional Military Administration, the head of the Public Council under the OVA, and Ukrainian volunteers joined the search for a hospital that would agree to perform a corneal transplant on him and negotiations with the Polish side. According to Mr. Serhiy, such operations are carried out only in Israel, Germany, the USA, Turkey and Poland. Currently, the athlete can only see in one eye, because the other one was not operated on. However, in 30 years, I learned to be happy with the little ones. The restoration of sight in one eye is called a real Christmas miracle.
Polish specialists hope that the cornea will take root. “But it will take time,” says Mr. Serhiy. “Rehabilitation will last about six months.”
“I pray that everything will be fine and that the war will end, for our girls and boys. Many of my athlete friends who helped me achieve success in Paralympic sports are now defending our country. These are the real heroes. Write and tell about them.” – concludes the Paralympian.
All photos are from the Facebook page of the Silesian Medical University
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