#Ubreakable Ivan from Sumy
Chaplyshchi, Sumy Oblast, Ukraine
The Russian invasion of Ukraine had persisted for a month, with parts of Sumy Oblast falling under occupation. 16-year-old Ivan Chaban and his family were walking back from the grocery store to encounter a horrible attack of a stray tank deviated from the russian convoy assaulting the unarmed Chaban family. As a result of this horrific encounter Ivan lost his stepfather and was himself ran over by the tank, while his mother sustained injuries as well.
That same evening, in the local hospital, doctors made the tough decision to amputate Ivan's foot. Despite the immense pain, Ivan demonstrated remarkable resilience and fortitude.
April to August 2022,
Ivan remained in Ukraine to allow his leg to heal completely. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health in Ukraine, Ivan was getting ready to participate in the #Unbreakable program, which facilitated his journey to the United States for rehabilitation.
Washington, DC, USA
Ivan Chaban, accompanied by Olena Herenko, a dedicated volunteer and civic activist, arrived in the US to undergo rehabilitation and acquaint himself with his new prosthetic leg. The Ukraine House team warmly welcomed them, with Ivan sharing his aspirations, particularly his ambition to excel in sports. We assured him that this dream would become a reality.
October 2022 to Present,
San-Diego, CA, USA
The teenager's journey of rehabilitation began in San Diego, California. Driven by an unwavering spirit and a determination to embrace life to the fullest, Ivan astonishingly adapted to his prosthesis within just three days, a feat that typically takes others weeks to accomplish. The doctors at the Peter Harsch Prosthetics clinic, inspired by his remarkable resilience, acknowledged that they had never encountered a patient quite like him in their entire professional history. He quickly became a local sensation, with journalists producing at least six videos highlighting his extraordinary progress.
Even the First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, was moved by Ivan's extraordinary accomplishments. She shared a video of Ivan fearlessly surfing in the Pacific Ocean, emphasizing his remarkable achievements. Indeed, Ivan not only excels in his endeavors but also serves as an unwavering source of inspiration, urging others never to lose hope. Building profound connections with fellow teenagers in the community, he continues to master the use of his prosthetic in the US.