CHICAGO, Ill. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – It’s been one year since Russia invaded the Ukraine. More than 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and almost 100,000 wounded. Amid a growing humanitarian crisis, doctors and medical professionals from the United States are stepping up to provide vital aide. One Ukrainian solider found help by doctors 5,000 miles away from his homeland.

Andrii Dovhaichuk has been a DJ for decades, and when war tore his country apart, he immediately volunteered.

“I fight for my family, for my friends,” Andrii says.

Called to action to help fellow fighters who were surrounded by the enemy, he walked right into an ambush.

Andrii painfully recalls, “Our unit was shot by a tank.”

His arm almost completely gone, and after months fighting an infection, it looked like the only option was amputation, until a church in Chicago heard about Andrii and connected him with Xavier Simcock, MD, a Hand & Upper Extremity Surgeon at Midwest Orthopedics at Rush.

“The goal was to get rid of the infection, but then, to connect the rest of his arm through fusion and from the upper arm to the lower arm so that he still had a hand that he can use,” Dr. Simcock explains.

It took two surgeries – one to clear the infection and the second to fuse the arm together.

Dr. Simcock further explains, “He had multiple nerve injuries as well. So, we had to, kind of, put all those pieces together.”

More than a year after his injury, Andrii is able to move his once almost-amputated arm. He hopes to continue to get more movement back – at least enough to go home and join the fight again.

Andrii will continue to gain more movement in his wrist and hand for several more months. Recovery from this type of surgery can take up to two years.