Surgeons offer Ukrainian boy to throw away his own leg

These days Vladik Danilchenko has a perfect command of his leg that was torn off in an accident. After examining the boy in a hospital, the doctors told Lyuba, Vladik’s mother, that an amputation would be the only solution. They also told her to dispose of the badly maimed leg. Today Lyuba’s eyes fill up with tears whenever she sees her son running about the playground with other boys. A year ago the doctors were confident that the boy would be handicapped for the rest of his life.

On that fateful day Vladik happened to walk near the railway track somewhere near the city of Donetsk. The boy apparently failed to see a freight train coming up. He was hit by one of the passing cars. Half of his leg was torn off as a result. His friends quickly fetched his mother. Lyuba carried his son back home and called an ambulance. “I seemed to be watching some kind of a slow-motion movie, the doctors just took their time after my son was rushed to the hospital. After examining Vladik, a doctor on duty told me nothing could be done, and an amputation was strongly recommended. They wanted to cut off the leg above the knee level,” says Lyuba.

Despite the doctors’ recommendation, Lyuba was adamant. She was opposed to amputation. A kneecap of the boy’s leg was intact. Slavik’s granddad found a torn part of the leg near the track and brought it to a hospital. Lyuba asked the doctors to put the maimed limb on ice. But they refused by saying that the leg was useless, and therefore should be discarded. At that point the grief-stricken mother sank into despair.

The surgeon Alexander Borzykh was shocked by the attitude of his colleagues. He said it was an outrage. “How could you do it to him? The kid’s just 10, he’s got his whole life lying ahead.

We need to do our best and rescue him!” said the surgeon. Prior to performing an operation, he told the boy’s mother straightaway that Slavik had a very poor chance of making it. Still, she was willing to take that chance.

The next seven days that followed the operation was sheer hell for Lyuba and Alexander. They had to go through a daily share of agony thinking constantly on the outcome of surgery. Finally, everybody felt a great relief when the news came down from the hospital: the boy was doing fine, the limb was knitting well, no rejection or complication so far.

Several days ago Vladik underwent his fifth surgery. The surgeons carried out another procedure on his shin for restoration purposes. Now his right leg is 15 cm shorter than the left one because the doctors cut off 17 cm of it on the day of the accident. The boy wears a special platform shoe on his right foot, he can walk and run like everybody else.

He seems perfectly normal at a distance. According to Alexander Borzykh, the boy’s leg will be fully recovered in due time. Modern techniques enable surgeons to enlarge a patient’s leg by 50 cm. Another 15 cm need to be grown on Vladik’s leg for the complete restoration. The surgeon is certain that the boy will grow into a full-blown individual provided that no complications take place.

Oksana Anikina

Translated by Guerman Grachev

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov