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Trip to US Life Changing Experience for Ukrainian Amputees


A group of Ukrainian youngsters has wrapped up a visit to the United States where they were fitted with new prosthetic arms and hands. Before heading home, the group traveled to Walt Disney World to relax after more than two weeks of treatment by top doctors in Florida. For many of the amputees, the care they received in the United States will allow them to live normal lives. Steve Mort reports for VOA News.

Celebrating at Walt Disney World -- nine young amputees from Ukraine who traveled to the United States for surgery unavailable at home.

All have been fitted with new upper body prosthetics during a 15-day visit to Florida.

Victor Semerenko received two new arms. He says, "I am so thankful to all these people and the modern technology. It gives me the opportunity to have a high quality of life".

These youngsters must practice everyday tasks using their new limbs. Doctors have been giving them intensive physical therapy using state-of-the-art equipment.

Dr. John Rush is from Hanger Prosthetics, which agreed to treat the young patients. "They're doing great. Usually this process takes about four to six weeks. We compressed it -- including the training and fitting -- into under two weeks," he said.

Republican Party Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart arranged for the children to come to Florida. Diaz-Balart's wife, Christina, watched the new prosthetics being fitted and said, "Oh my goodness. It’s beyond words, it's beyond words -- we are thrilled to see their smiles. To see them do things that we take so for granted is just incredibly beautiful."

The trip's organizers say there are plans for more Ukrainian youngsters to visit the U.S. to undergo similar procedures. In all, a total of 20 children from Ukraine are set to travel to Florida to receive treatment.

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