Wounded Ukrainian soldiers receive prosthetics in Silver Spring

Several Ukrainian soldiers, badly wounded in the country’s war against Russia, are in Silver Spring, Maryland, receiving help to get back on their feet.

They are receiving prosthetics, and the intense therapy needed to begin using the devices, free-of-charge at Medical Center Orthotics and Prosthetics.

“We’re utilizing our prosthetic know-how and components … we’re donating all this to these deserving people,” said MCOP Chief Product Officer Mike Corcoran.



So far, seven soldiers have been fitted with the prosthetic legs and arms, some of which carry a price tag south of $100,000.

To make this happen, several nonprofits and medical providers joined forces to get the soldiers what they need to get moving with their new limbs. United Help Ukraine, based in Gaithersburg, is one of those organizations. Board member Boris Levonenko said the organization is happy to be a part of this work, which is helping to raise the soldiers’ spirits.

“They come back to the normal life much sooner with the top-of-the-line equipment they are getting here,” Levonenko said.

Twenty-three-year-old Alex Fedun, speaking through a translator, said he lost both his legs when the vehicle he was in struck a mine. With his two new prosthetic legs, he hopes to soon be mobile enough to rejoin the fight against Russia. Fedun thanked all those who helped him get the prosthetics.

“I have a great appreciation for everybody who helped … for their efforts, for what they’re doing,” Fedun said.

Soldier Ruslan Tishenko lost a leg when his team came under attack by a Russian tank. Through a translator, Tishenko said he is excited to again walk on two legs, and is thankful to the many people who made it happen.

“Thank you very much,” he said, using the few English words he knows.

Wounded Ukrainian soldiers
Wounded Ukrainian soldiers receive prosthetic legs and arms at the Medical Center Orthotics and Prosthetics in Silver Spring, Maryland. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

While MCOP makes the prosthetics, the physical therapy needed for their wearers to become accustomed to them is being donated by Adventist HealthCare.

Farhad Ostovari is the clinical director for Amputee Care and Prosthetic Services at Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation.

“We are all on the same team, whether they are Ukrainians or they are American citizens, we are all the same, we are humans, we have to help each other,” Ostovari said.

Elan Burman, director of philanthropy and donor relations at Adventist, said watching the soldiers progress has been rewarding.

“From a few weeks to now, the progress they’ve made is just unbelievable,” Burman said.

The charitable organizations are also an important part of helping the soldiers. United Help Ukraine houses and provides entertainment for the soldiers while they are in the D.C. region. Revived Soldiers Ukraine and Future for Ukraine have also helped bring wounded soldiers to the U.S. while the Brother’s Brother Foundation raised funds to pay for prosthetics.

“From our perspective, given the carnage that we’ve seen all throughout this war, it was critical that we help in some way,” said Ozzy Sanad, president of the Brother’s Brother Foundation.

Corcoran said that while everyone involved hopes to continue to help wounded soldiers, more fundraising is needed to pay for all that is needed to help them. Donations, he said, can be made to the Brother’s Brother Foundation.

He said working with soldiers has been inspiring.

“Yes, they’re missing limbs, but they all want to go back and fight, and they feel a huge drive to protect Ukraine,” Corcoran said.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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