Doing shoulder presses on a machine

Paralyzed Ukrainian Soldier Receives Intensive Rehabilitation at Brooks

Clinical Expertise

Dec 16, 2022

Maksym Slipits was fighting in Ukraine when an IED exploded near him. Shrapnel caused a vertebral thoracic spinal cord injury at T11-T12 and L2-L3 leaving him paralyzed, a traumatic amputation of the right leg above the knee and multiple gunshot and shrapnel wounds to left lower leg. After months of treatment in Ukraine, Revived Soldiers Ukraine and local physician, Dr. Samowtowka from Memorial Hospital, helped bring Maksym and his family to the Brooks Rehabilitation Spinal Cord Injury & Disorders (SCI/D) Day Treatment Program for intensive therapy and education.

While in the U.S. for treatment, Maksym and his family are staying at Helen’s House, Brooks’ family housing across from Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital – University Campus. Along with therapies in the SCI/D program, Maksym is receiving expert spinal cord injury oversight from Dr. Brian Higdon and amputee resources and management from Dr. Howard Weiss.

“Maksym has made excellent progress in his daily life skills, upper body strength, balance and mobility during his time in the SCI Day Program. His confidence has improved and he has such a fun personality that he brings to the group. He demonstrates grit, perseverance, and undying determination in the face of obstacles,” said Alexa Chappell, OTR/L, one of Maksym’s primary therapists in the Brooks Rehabilitation SCI/D Day Treatment Program.

Makysm and his family plan to return to Ukraine early next year where he will continue his recovery.

Maksym’s story was recently featured on First Coast News to bring awareness to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

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