Before the war, 29-year-old Yevhen Klemyonov and his wife lived in the town of Krasnohorivka, Donetsk region. When the first shelling began, they moved to Russia where they lived for the next 4 years.

Yevhen suffers from an inborn heart disease which only aggravated due to hard work and difficult life situation. Living away from home, Yevhen was experiencing weakness, strangulation and severe coughing. He returned to Ukraine and went to a hospital in Donetsk, where the doctors told him that he needed an urgent heart surgery. However, the doctors refused to help him in Donetsk due to high risks to his life and the lack of the needed equipment. He was told to go to Kyiv to have the needed heart surgery.

When Yevhen was finally brought to the National Institute of Cardiovascular Surgery in Kyiv, his condition was very grave.  For one whole month he was medicated and the doctors prepared him for a surgery. The man says that his heart was barely working but he couldn’t pay for the needed surgery (replacement of  the aortic valve).  The money collected by his parents and grandparents was already spent for his treatment.

Yevhen’s grandmother suggested that they apply to CBN-Emmanuel – the organization that had helped many locals of Krasnohorivka. Yevhen’s mother called CBN-Emmanuel asking to help save her son’s life. Luckily, CBN-Emmanuel was ready to help Yevhen in the framework of the medical project carried out in cooperation with “Pope for Ukraine” Initiative. On the same day Yevhen’s mother came to Emmanuel’s office and the hospital bill for the surgery was paid before she left the office!

Yevhen had his life-saving surgery on the following day. Yevhen has been discharged from the hospital and is now undergoing a rehabilitation at a special sanatorium in the town of Irpin. He misses his wife and daughter whom he hasn’t seen for a whole month, but he is not allowed to travel yet.

My family and I are so grateful to God and to “Pope for Ukraine”Initiative for showing me a very practical example of kindness and devotional service to people. I already feel much better, I believe that everything bad is in the past, and I will be able to build a happy future!”, Yevhen shares with a smile.

We thank Pope Francis and all the caring people in all the Catholic Churches who answered tthe call to help for the victims of Donbass!