To Defenders of Freedom

Military driver Valentyn undergoes rehabilitation after losing his lower limbs on the battlefield

After sustaining a severe injury followed by amputation of both legs, Ukrainian defender Valentyn has been undergoing rehabilitation, for the last three months – at the UNBROKEN National Rehabilitation Center in Lviv.

Valentyn Bondar, 35, is from Poltava. The man joined the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in early November 2022. He became the driver in the 77th Separate Airborne Brigade. Within half a year of service, Valentyn suffered a severe injury on the Bakhmut axis.

On that day, Valentyn was evacuating Ukrainian infantry from positions assaulted by Russian forces. The convoy consisted of several evacuation light-armored vehicles moving on the so-called “road of life”. Valentyn was in the lead vehicle. The Russians targeted his car with an anti-tank guided missile. As a result, the vehicle caught fire.

“I was blinded and deafened. There was an orange flash in my eyes, and the sound of burning metal crackled in my ears. I could feel my body burning,” recalls Valentyn.

Photo: UNBROKEN Ukraine / Facebook

Despite severe injuries and burns, the Ukrainian defender managed to escape from the firetrap. He fell to the ground and rolled several meters to extinguish the flames on himself. When Valentyn opened his eyes, he saw his shattered legs and applied tourniquets on his own.

Doctors from several hospitals fought hard to save Valentyn’s lower limbs, but eventually, his legs had to be amputated. For further treatment and rehabilitation, the man was directed to the UNBROKEN Center in Lviv.

“Our doctors treated the patient’s burns and prepared his limbs for prosthetics. At the same time, our physical therapists worked with Valentyn,” shared UNBROKEN Ukraine on Facebook.

Photo: UNBROKEN Ukraine / Facebook

As of the end of 2023, the man is completing his rehabilitation in Lviv. Valentyn has already received his first temporary leg prosthetics and is learning to walk with them. He plans to obtain permanent artificial limbs in his hometown, Poltava.

“I went through hell. And I fought my way out for the sake of my girls. I have three of them: my wife, Valentyna, and two daughters, Milana and Anastasiia. So now, I just want to be with my family,” shares Valentyn. The man is determined to continue working for Ukraine’s victory as a civilian now.

Valentyn`s story was told by UNBROKEN Ukraine. 

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