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Doctors reconstructed the face of a seriously wounded defender who lost eye and received shrapnel through the bridge of his nose

Wednesday, 26 June 2024, 19:00

An international team of surgeons from Canada, the US and Ukraine has reconstructed the face of a Ukrainian soldier who was severely injured in the fighting in Donetsk Oblast.

Pavlo Varieiev is an experienced hunter, so on 24 February 2024 he took up a rifle and went to the military enlistment office, the Patients of Ukraine Charitable Foundation said.

"War is like hunting a beast. However, the beast is the Russians who want to kill you," the man said.


During the first months of the war, Pavlo was forcing the Russian troops out of Kyiv Oblast and later joined an assault brigade to continue his service in Donetsk Oblast.

During his participation in the fighting, he was injured four times, escaped from a shelled armoured personnel carrier, hit the Russians in close combat and escaped a sniper's bullet.

However, while leading the group to one of the positions, the defender came under hostile fire and lost one eye. Pavlo also sustained shrapnel injuries – the fragments formed an exit hole in the bridge of his nose and damaged his arm and both legs.


The man had to go through several stages of treatment, during which he was gradually provided with assistance. First, his limbs were healed, and later, the international medical mission Face the Future Ukraine reconstructed the defender's face.

The international medical mission Face the Future Ukraine reconstructed the defender's face.
Photo: Patients of Ukraine

Ophthalmologists at the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast Clinical Hospital also created a realistic prosthetic eye for the soldier.

A team of 15 foreign specialists is planning to return to Ukraine in October 2024 to carry out the final part of the treatment and finally cover the defect on the left side of the face.

"We are going to come back to Ukraine again to help restore the faces of as many soldiers as possible. All of them are definitely heroes who are standing up for the freedom of their people," said Peter Adamson, founder of the Face the Future Foundation.

During the latest mission to Ivano-Frankivsk, the doctors managed to perform surgeries not only for Pavlo but also for 30 other Ukrainian defenders.

The Ukrainian doctors in Vinnytsia performed prosthetics using a unique technique – the patient will be able to take his first steps on the prostheses two days after the operation.

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