Badly injured Ukrainian boy finds hope in Polish hospital

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Unable to walk or move half his face after being injured by the same Russian shell that killed his father as they tried to flee Kyiv, a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy has found new hope in a Polish hospital.

Pediatric surgeon Professor Jan Godzinski, of the T. Marciniak hospital in Wroclaw, southwestern Poland, said Thursday that a detailed diagnostic scan has been performed to help doctors choose the best treatment for Volodymyr.

“What moved me most was that he smiled when we told him we will be able to help him,” Godzinski said on Poland’s private TVN24.

Volodymyr was injured in the early phase of the Russian invasion, in late February, when a shell struck his family’s car. Doctors in Kyiv were able to save his life but he requires further surgery and long, specialized treatment for severe injuries to his spine and facial nerves, Godzinski said.

Surgeons will also need to remove remaining shrapnel fragments from the boy’s body.

Volodymyr and his mother, Natasha Karavanska, who is unhurt, were brought to the hospital Monday from Lviv, in western Ukraine, by ambulance.

Neighboring Poland has received more than 2.5 million refugees from Ukraine and has designated 120 of its hospitals to help treat those injured in the war. They arrive in a special medical train or in ambulances.

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Follow the AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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