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As WAEH we are there to help….

2023-05-22 18:00:41

Olena Kurylo was blinded in her right eye when a missile destroyed her apartment block in the opening hours of Russia’s brutal invasion last month. […] She was in danger of developing a fatal infection from her wounds. It was clear that Olena needed urgent surgery – but first she had to escape what had become a deadly and complex battlefield.

The Mail on Sunday contacted @Moorfields Eye Hospital and the Moorfields Eye Hospital contacted the World Association of Eye Hospitals (WAEH). Dr Tanya Lushchyk, a Dutch-Ukrainian ophthalmologist at the Rotterdam Eye Hospital (@oogziekenhuis), offered help and carried out a telephone consultation with Olena. Lushchyk concluded that large pieces of glass remained lodged in Olena’s eye and that she had suffered bleeding and possibly the detachment of her retina. 

Olena’s salvation came in the form of a lorry driver who was delivering supplies in the area. ‘He smuggled me into Kharkiv through the forest,’ Olena said. ‘I spent the journey curled into a ball on the front seat to hide.’ Four days later Olena and her daughter boarded a 20-hour train from Dnipro to Lviv. ‘It was crammed,’ she said. ‘I didn’t sleep for the whole time. I was one of seven people sitting in a four-seater carriage, with a 30kg dog in the middle. But everyone comforted one another

One week ago Olena has been operated in Poland. Despite knowing she needed emergency care, Olena believed that it would be a simple procedure. But during the appointment, the expert broke the news that her condition was more serious. ‘She has a penetrating trauma of the eyeball, a detached retina and a haemorrhage.’ But doctors say there is a chance Olena could restore her vision. 

Olena hopes to return to her beloved country soon. She said: ‘Every Ukrainian civilian and volunteer, please do everything possible for Ukraine to remain a free and independent country. If Ukraine wins, the whole world will win, the whole of humankind will.’

#WAEH #eyehospital #ophthalmology #OlenaKurylo

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