Nurse Oksana Balandina, wearing a wedding dress, was carried by her husband, Viktor Vasyliv, and turned to dance in the hospital.
Oksana Balandina puts one arm around groom Viktor Vasyliv’s neck, with the other bandaged on his chest, during a wedding held at a hospital in Lviv, western Ukraine on May 2.
That was the moment that the 23-year-old nurse thought could never happen after having her legs amputated due to landmines on March 27, while walking with Viktor to her home in Lysychansk, Lugansk region, eastern Ukraine.
“At that time I tried my best to yell at him to warn him: ‘Honey, watch out!’,” Oksana recalled on May 3. “He saw me when the mine exploded. I fell face down on the ground. There was a loud noise in my head. I turned around, trying to tear all my clothes off. I did this to make it easier to breathe because I couldn’t breathe at that time.”
Viktor walked behind Oksana and was uninjured. “When she hit the landmine, I was so desperate, I didn’t know what to do. She lay motionless on the ground,” he said.
“If it weren’t for Oksana, I don’t know what would have happened. She was very strong, she didn’t pass out. It was Oksana who guided me on what to do,” Viktor added.
Oksana has been treated in many hospitals throughout Ukraine. In the end, the doctor was forced to amputate both her legs and four fingers on her left hand. Oksana was going through a dark time.
“I used to not want to live anymore. I don’t want to live like this, I have two children. I don’t want them to see me in this state. I don’t want to be a burden to my family,” Oksana said. talk in the hospital.
“But thanks to everyone’s comfort, I accepted the truth. I have to move on. This is not the end of my life. If God lets me live, that’s my destiny.”
Oksana’s two children, a 7-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl, are in a safe place with their grandparents in Poltava, central Ukraine. After holding a wedding ceremony in the hospital, Oksana and Viktor hope to go to Germany to have prosthetic legs and rehabilitation.
The road ahead is long and there is no sign of an end to the conflict in Ukraine. Oksana can only focus on the present and restore health.
“I want to go back to my home town, back to Lysychansk, but rather I’m very worried about my children. When the fighting ends there will be many unforeseen things. My path has been planted with mines. It’s worth it. scared,” she said.
Viktor feels grateful that Oksana is still alive. “I’m so scared of losing her. I want to cry but I can’t. I’m so shocked, I can’t accept what happened. It’s scary to almost lose someone we love,” he expressed.
Hong Hanh (Theo Reuters)