Thank You Lord for Healing Me
by James V.
Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Ihor Lakatosh, from Ukraine, has faced extreme suffering in his young life. When he was just three years old he was caught in a fire which burned 30 percent of his body. Few details are known of the fire, but in the aftermath Ihor was left horribly scarred, and his wounds were left untreated for years.
Over time neighbors observed his plight, and urged his mother to take him to the hospital. His arm had eventually fused to his torso by scar tissue. He was severely malnourished, unable to bend his arms, or walk. She did bring him to a hospital in 2011, but never returned for him.
It’s hard to imagine the trauma of such horrific injuries at so young an age, as well as being abandoned by his own mother.
He did receive minor care, but the hospital was unable to afford the costs of the more comprehensive treatments to help him. There were also concerns that he was mentally impaired, and so he was eventually placed into an orphanage for children suffering from cerebral palsy.
The director of the orphanage reached out to a Ukrainian burn physician, who himself reached out to doctors in the United States. Doctors Gennadiy Fuzaylov and Daniel Driscoll run a organization called Doctors Collaborating to Help Children. A nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the medical care of children in other countries.
The organization brought Ihor to Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston, two years ago. A hospital that specializes in severe burns.
Ihor was suffering from a number of problems aside from his burns at this point of his life. He was 8 or 9 years old and weighed less than 30 pounds. It was discovered that he had 14 rotten teeth, which kept him from eating well, contributing to his ongoing malnourished state.
Ihor underwent a number of surgeries from there. The first to separate the arm that had fused to his torso. Further surgeries gave him the ability to bend his knees, use his arms, and straighten his elbows, shoulders and legs. They also worked on a scar on his left cheek which made it difficult for him to open his mouth fully.
Doctors further determined that Ihor is not mentally impaired. He was simply never given any schooling, and his condition made it impossible for him to hold a pencil.
He has also undergone considerable physical therapy. Katherine Hartigan, one of the therapists who worked with Ihor, was impressed by his strength and determination to work through his pain and rehabilitate himself.
“Looking at him where he was two years ago and now, the really independent person he is, it’s amazing. It’s absolutely amazing”.
Ihor, now 11 years old, has shown remarkable strength throughout his ordeal. Despite all he has gone through he shows significant optimism. This experience has also brought him to God. Often seen making the sign of the cross, and thanking God for his healing and ability to live a normal life.
“Thank you I can walk. Thank you I can walk. Thank you Lord, I can walk”
“I can do everything now. I can go to school … I can go outside and play. I can eat by myself. I can go home and do my homework. I can go to bed by myself. I can do everything by myself. I can live a life now.”
The people and organizations that have helped Ihor have shown tremendous compassion and altruism through their charitable works.
Ihor serves as an illustration for us of the power of inner strength and determination to overcome terrible adversity. Strength we are given through Jesus. He never gave up, despite tremendous anguish and misery. He has fought hard, and his optimism and enthusiasm for his future is very inspiring.