The “Techiia Foundation” funded the first prosthetic case within the new project "Unstoppable."
The first beneficiary of the organization has become a military serviceman who was seconded to a separate tank company from the Lviv region. He was fitted with a modern lower limb prosthesis.
Maksym Ivanchenko is a career officer in the Ukrainian Armed Forces and a lecturer at the Department of firearms training at the Faculty of Combat Use of Troops at the Hetman Petro Sahaidachnyi National Ground Forces Academy. He has been in the army for 17 years and has participated in the Anti-Terrorist Operation in the east, including the battles for Debaltsevo in 2015.
"I teach cadets how to perform shooting exercises with all types of small arms, as well as tank weapons," Maksym says.
After the start of the full-scale invasion, the officer participated in the liberation of the Kyiv region and then the Kharkiv region from russian occupiers. Last summer, he was involved in an accident outside the battlefield. Together with his comrades, Maksym was traveling to rotate the unit in the Kyiv region. The driver lost control, and their vehicle fell into a ditch. One person died, and three others suffered severe injuries that led to disability.
Due to an accident, Maksym’s spine was broken in several places, and his ribs were fractured. He also lost his right leg above the knee.
"The fact that I am even standing is already a gift of fate. When I was in the hospital, the surgeon gave me a 96% chance of never walking again. As someone who was bored and already realized they had gotten into trouble, I asked him: 'How did you calculate the 4% though?" — recalls the officer.
Maksym Ivanchenko underwent several complex operations, two of which were on his leg. Fortunately, he was able to get out of the hospital bed. However, the prosthesis funded by the government was simple and limited in functionality, as the military officer was disabled not due to combat conditions. Now Maksym is trying to solve legal and bureaucratic issues regarding this matter.
The "Techiia Foundation" found out about his story. Recently, the organization launched a new charity project called "Unstoppable" — prosthetics for military and civilians. It decided to finance Maksym's high-functionality prosthesis as part of this project.
"We have been assisting the defenders of Ukraine since the first days of the full-scale invasion. From 2023, we are directing additional efforts toward rehabilitating our defenders and civilians who have lost limbs due to russian aggression. This is our small tribute to the Ukrainians who are not held back by either the enemy, injuries or anything else," says Oleg Krot, Director of the "Techiia Foundation" and managing partner of the international technology holding TECHIIA.
The "Unstoppable" project focuses on people who require quality prosthetics but cannot get them from the government for various reasons. The organization studies the patient's history and partially or fully covers the costs of manufacturing the prosthetic device after approval.
The production and assembly of the new prosthesis, as well as the rehabilitation of Maksym Ivanchenko, have been taken on by the Center for Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Rehabilitation "Bez Obmezhen" — one of the partners of the "Techiia Foundation" in the project.
"Maksym tried to walk with a prosthesis that he was entitled to receive free of charge under the state program, but it lacked the necessary foot dynamics and a more advanced knee joint functionality. We installed a more modern knee joint and foot, which are provided to combatants under the government program. After getting used to and undergoing rehabilitation, he should be able to walk freely and comfortably on it and achieve the plans and goals he sets for himself, thus fully integrating into his normal life," said Andriy Ovcharenko, director of the "Bez Obmezhen" center.
"The cost of the components that needed to be included in the prosthesis for the upgrade was almost 430,000 UAH. Maksym confirms that the sensations from the upgrade are very different.
"The new prosthesis is much softer in terms of load on the stump than the previous one. You put it on, and you can stand up without crutches. It has a swivel mechanism, which makes it easier to put on shoes. And there is also a mode with which you can ride a bike comfortably," the soldier explains.
According to Andriy Ovcharenko, the lion's share of the work is in rehabilitation and constant training. No one starts walking well from the first day. Moreover, Maksym needs to relearn to use the new knee joint. "It is three times better than what he had, with a powerful hydraulic system and a more natural walking mechanism," describes the "Bez Obmezhen" center director.
Even though Maksym has already successfully tried walking without crutches, he is now preparing for his third operation on the leg. During a routine examination, doctors discovered a growth on the bone fragment, causing swelling and inflammation. It needs to be removed, and after the wound has healed, the military man will start full rehabilitation from scratch. His plans include returning to service as soon as possible.
"I will stand up and go back to work. Our country now especially needs high-quality training for future commanders of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," says Maksym Ivanchenko.
The “Techiia Foundation” is already preparing to finance the prosthetics of its next beneficiaries.