Olexiy Banin is a man with disability who lives in the conflict-affected town of Maryinka, eastern Ukraine.

For many years he has been suffering from hip arthrosis. Since 2014, when the war came to his home town of Maryinka, his house has been repeatedly hit by shells, bullets, and shell fragments.

Every time when the shooting would start, Olexiy’s wife Svitlana would panick and tremble with fear. The couple would leave their house and stay with the relatives but after a day or two they would still come back home.

The 5 years of such terrifying life drastically influenced Svitlana’s health.  She had a stroke last year that paralyzed her limbs by 70%.

Olexiy who is suffering from pain every single day, has been caring for his disabled wife ever since. He carries her around in his harms, helps her move from the bed into the wheelchair and carries her to the car – even though the doctors have forbidden him to lift anything heavy.

When CBN-Emmauel’s team attended the couple at home during a monitoring visit, Olexiy kept calling his wife “my sun”.  She is not a burden for him – Olexiy still treats his wife with love and is ready to be with her both in health and in sickness, even if he has to sacrifice his own health to care for her.

The doctors told Olexiy that he has only two month to get ready for the needed surgery – otherwise, he would have to use a wheelchair or, in the worst case scenario, he wouldn’t be able to get out of bed. Olexiy’s hip is being continuously destroyed every single day.

Now that the cold weather came to Ukraine, the issue that is worrying the couple even more than their health is finding a way to heat their house. The old furnace that they have been using is barely enough to achieve minimal warmth in their house.

CBN-Emmanuel installed a solid-fuel heater in Olexiy and Svitlana’s house and provided them with 3,4 tons of solid fuel in the framework of its winterization project funded by “Ukraine Humanitarian Fund”.  This will help the couple to get warm in their house shattered by the projectiles and, probably, save some additional money for Olexiy’s surgery (the hip surgery costs over $6000). After all, Olexiy needs this surgery to be able to care for his sick wife.

I still can remember the time when my wife and I would run to work or to the local market… Unfortunately, the war ruined our health and now both of us can’t use our legs. My wife can’t walk at all and I have to care for her in everything. What will happen with me in the nearest future with my diagnosis – nobody knows. But this is the pain that we have to share until we die. We are very grateful to CBN-Emmanuel and Ukraine Humanitarian Fund for helping us! Even though we still feel our pain, we, at least, will be warm during the winter. We are grateful to all caring people!” – Olexiy shared.

Thanks to the support of Ukraine Humanitarian Fund, this family with disability living in conflict-affected eastern Ukraine is now provided with a solid-fuel heater and solid fuel for the winter.

By Anna Chaban, CBN-Emmanuel