In February this year, “Pope for Ukraine” Initiative in cooperation with CBN-Emmanuel completed their joint project on reconstruction and modernization of Burns Department of Kramatorsk City Hospital #3. Since then, doctors of the hospital have been able to save many more lives. Ruslan’s story is just another testimony of a burns survivor whose life was saved due to the high qualifications of doctors, available modern equipment and support of sponsors from various parts of the world.

32-year-old Ruslan from the front-line town of Kurahove has been volunteering much of his time to help the needy affected by the war eastern Ukraine. Together with his wife, he would collect assistance for the villagers in Kurakhove and helped with distribution of relief goods in the frontline towns of Maryinka, Krasnohorivka, Avdiyivka. Being a car mechanic by profession, Ruslan also started a new volunteer project on free repairs of army vehicles. On June 28, due to a bad accident in his service station, Ruslan in no time became the one who needed urgent help himself.

On that unfortunate day he was in the viewing pit at his service shop working on a car. The contact of drill with the iron caused a spark which started a fire in the car equipped with a gas cylinder. In a flash, Ruslan was on fire –  80% of his body, including his face, was burned. By a happy chance, Ruslan’s friend Sergey saved his life when he accidently came to the service station. The young man pulled Ruslan out of the burning service pit. When Ruslan was brought to the Burns Department of Kramatorsk Hospital, the doctor told his family: “His chances for survival are about 50%. Ruslan needs an urgent operation, otherwise he may die!”

A huge number of people joined their efforts to save Ruslan’s life: two buses filled with his friends and co-workers came to the hospital  – all of these people became donors of blood for Ruslan. Meanwhile, his friend Alexey, from the CIMIC military-civilian division, was looking for financial opportunities to help Ruslan buy the medicines and supplies needed for his surgery. Alexey’s first point of contact was Galina Kucher, coordinator of CBN-Emmanuel’s Social Projects Department. “The next morning we sent the boxes of drugs for Ruslan with Kiev-Konstantinovka train. We were able to provide this urgent assistance thanks to our cooperation with “Pope for Ukraine” Initiative and urgent efforts of many people who pushed their matters aside to search for the needed medicines to be able to send them to Ruslan right away“- Galina Kucher said.

Oleg Andreyev, the head of the Burns department, commented on the situation: “Ruslan was delivered to the hospital in a very grave condition. Thankfully, CBN-Emmanuel’s team reacted very promptly – they bought the artificial skin and all necessary medicines for the total amount over $2,500. It was a very good timing –  just an hour after the patient arrived, we started the surgery. And today, after 3 weeks, Ruslan is already able to walk! Many people with such grave burns have no one to help them and they die…”

Ruslan is recovering very fast and he is already dreaming about returning to his car repair shop and continue with free repairs of Ukrainian military vehicles. The circumstances have changed, but Ruslan’s heart is still ready to serve others.

You can make donations for CBN-Emmanuel’s projects here