Ukrainian Soldier Recovering in Spinal Cord Injury & Related Disorders Day Treatment ProgramPatient Experience
Mar 2, 2022
Leonid Ovdiiuk has been fighting for the people of Ukraine for years. A Ukrainian Army official, he was injured during a landmine explosion on May 20, 2020. He required multiple surgeries to repair the wounds, but the shrapnel caused a Brown-Sequard spinal cord injury at C5-6. After being treated in a Ukranian military hospital, he was transferred to the U.S. for continued treatment at Next Steps in Orlando with the help of Revived Soldiers Ukraine.
Leonid needed additional intensive rehabilitation to recover from his injuries. The President of Revived Soliders Ukraine reach out to Michael Samotowka, MD, FACS, FCCP, FCCM, the trauma medical director at Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla. for assistance. He recommended Brooks Rehabilitation, specifically the Spinal Cord Injury & Related Disorders Day (SCID) Treatment Program and the Neuro Recovery Center (NRC).
Leonid started his therapy at the NRC in early Oct. 2021 before transitioning to the SCID program for six weeks. In the program, the team worked with him on improving the function of the left side of his body, the side more severely damaged. The team used a variety of therapeutic techniques and equipment, including Cyberdyne and Functional Electrical Stimulation bikes, for five hours each day, five days a week. His treatment also included community outings for reintegration as well as medical support from one of our SCI-specialized physicians.
Leonid continued making progress at the NRC until receiving authorization for another two – three months in the SCID program. Leonid is scheduled to have extensive arm surgery to regain function at the end of March. “We wanted Leonid to start the SCID program again for a few weeks before surgery to get as strong as possible and then finish his rehab afterwards. The plan was for him to finally go home to the Ukraine after he had recovered from surgery but it is uncertain what will happen now. Leonid is the hardest working individual you will ever meet. He just wants to get better to so that he can go home and continue fighting for the country that he loves and adores,” said Kat Cunningham, PT, DPT, NCS, Manager, Brooks SCI/D Day Treatment Program.
Leonid’s story was recently featured in the news to bring awareness to the ongoing war in Ukraine.