How to restore the face of a warrior and not lose the face of the country
In the battle near Bakhmut, Vladislav Kemskyi, a 28-year-old soldier of the 30th separate mechanized brigade named after Prince Konstanty Ostrozky, had his face blown off by a shell fragment: his eyes, nose and lower jaw. Doctors in Ukrainian hospitals and clinics managed to stabilize his condition, but they cannot reconstruct and return his lost face.
An enemy shell exploded near the head
There are only a few clinics on the entire planet that have face reconstruction and transplantation technologies. Thanks to the efforts of volunteers, the French Amiens-Picardie clinic (CHU Amiens-Picardie) agreed to help Vlad. Moreover, it will be done for free. The clinic is already waiting for Vlad, but he is still in Ukraine. Precious days, weeks and months slip by. We tried to figure out why. But first, more details about how this happened to the soldier. The ZN.UA correspondent visited the house of the Kemskyi family in Korosten.
Vlad went to defend his country as a volunteer, although he did not even go through mandatory military service. After the terrible events in Bucha and Irpin, he said to his mother: "I have a wife, I have a son, and I don't want the enemy to come here and execute them in the same way." After that, he went to the Military Commissariat...
"I was wounded in the trench," says Vlad. – “The enemies were advancing, I just changed my position, quickly stuck my head out of the trench - and then an enemy shell flew by. It exploded at my very head. I don't remember anything after that”. He came to his senses only in the intensive care unit...
Vlad was treated in Kramatorsk, Kyiv, Lviv and Zhytomyr. He has already undergone several surgeries, including a metal plate on the left side of his skull and a plate that temporarily replaced his lower jaw.
- When Vlad was in the intensive care unit in the Kyiv hospital, he was given strong sedatives, he could not speak because of the tracheostomy that was placed on him, - recalls the soldier's mother Liliya Vitaliyivna. - His condition was very serious and he did not understand what was happening to him. When we were allowed to see him for just a few minutes, he held up his fingers and showed us that he was all right. And when the tracheostomy was removed, Vlad shocked everyone by immediately singing the song "Oh, the red viburnum in the meadow." Each spoken word was given with great effort, he could not pronounce the sounds normally, but he still sang. My son is a very strong person.
It is very difficult to take a soldier abroad for treatment
The doctors of the different clinics and hospitals through which Vlad Kemsky passed during this time came to the conclusion that he needs to be treated abroad, and submitted packages of documents to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, as stated in the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 1079 of December 27, 2017.
This regulatory act instructs: "The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine to take measures to send citizens of Ukraine from among military personnel who took direct part in the measures necessary to ensure the defense of Ukraine, protect the safety of the population and the interests of the state in connection with the military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, while being directly in the areas where the specified measures are carried out, for treatment abroad."
The "Procedure for sending citizens of Ukraine for treatment abroad" is attached to the resolution.
It would seem that all mechanisms are prescribed, but Vlad is still in Ukraine. He says that the Ministry of Health of Ukraine sent several military personnel to the Netherlands for treatment, but the Dutch clinic apparently did not undertake to treat him.
The American clinic, the same one that successfully carries out face transplants, did not undertake to treat him either. Vlad was connected with this clinic by volunteers.
And finally, thanks to Viktoria Pavlova, a volunteer from Dnipro, the French clinic CHU Amiens-Picardie was found. Doctors are already waiting for Vlad there and will treat him for free. In addition, the French government will provide accommodation for the persons who will accompany him. However, Vlad still cannot leave, as the problem arose precisely with the accompanying persons and the method of his transportation to France.
— I am in personal contact with the head doctor of the Amiens-Picardie Clinic, Dr. Dakpe Stephanie, says Viktoria Pavlova, a doctor and teacher at the Dnipro State Medical University. — The clinic is a European maxillofacial center. Vlad is the fourth person for whom I was able to organize treatment there. All expenses are covered by the French side. The relevant letter was sent from the French Ministry of Health to the Ukrainian Ministry of Health. Only on such conditions are the wounded sent abroad for treatment. If a person wants to be treated at his own expense, then such a person is prohibited from leaving the country. Why is that so? I do not know. Vlad has to undergo several reconstructive operations, so he goes to the Amiens Clinic for a long time.
According to Viktoria, the state of health of the wounded, whom she sent earlier, was worse than that of Vlad, and they have been in the clinics for about six months.
"I was asked by different people from different sides to help Vlad," Viktoria says. — I thought it was not about one person, but about several, and I said that I could not send so many people to the clinic. However, when I asked for the name, it became clear that everyone was asking for one person, namely Vlad Kemskyi from Korosten.
Registration for treatment abroad, according to Viktoria, is a very complicated process. It is necessary to translate all documents into English, to arrange with the ministry so that its employees will review the documents. Then it is necessary for the head doctor of the French clinic to take a letter from the Ministry of Health of France confirming that the clinic accepts the patient, regardless of how many operations he will have to do. This letter must be submitted to the Ukrainian Ministry of Health of Ukraine. And only with the presence of this document, the patient is released abroad.
Viktoria clarified: the real cost of the operations to be carried out by the Government is more than 700,000 euros. It's not just plastic surgery, it's also facial reconstruction. Vlad has no jaw and nose. They need to be made and inserted into the face. In addition, it is necessary to use a number of titanium and silicone implants.
As for the previous patients of the clinic who went there for treatment with the help of Viktoria, they already have faces. But this is a long process. Patients live at the Amiens clinic with their families.
It is not known how long it will take to complete all the paperwork
Vlad is still in Korosten, although he should have already left. Meanwhile, time is running out, and the administration of the clinic is worried. What is the matter? We address this question to Liliya, Vlad’s mother.
According to her, the main problem is to decide who will accompany Vlad. The fact is that his mother is essentially a caretaker for her elderly disabled parents. Vlada's wife is also disabled and on supportive therapy, besides, she has to take care of the children.
Therefore, Vlad can only be accompanied by his own brother Oleksandr. However, in order to register him as an accompanying person for a seriously ill person, Vlad first needs to register his disability. It is not known how long this registration process will take.
This fact is confirmed by the story of the warrior and famous lawyer Masi Nayyem. He was seriously wounded in battle. After applying to the medical and social expertise for disability registration, he posted a photo of his injured face without an eye on Facebook with the caption: "I was just at the medical and social expertise. I didn't understand what I had to do. There is no algorithm how to act..."
And the absence of algorithms for the activity of some state structures often means only one thing — a person who needs help must guess what needs to be done in order to hear the word "yes".
Masi Nayyem created a public organization called "Principle". This structure undertakes to help wounded soldiers, in particular, with registration of disability. However, this is a topic for another article.
One way or another, Vlad Kemskyi will go to France, where he will get a face. Only a few vital and bureaucratic problems remain to be resolved. But if there were no such problems, the doctors from the Amiens Clinic would have already treated the warrior.
We really hope to publish a photo of a smiling Vlad with a new face soon.
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