The first picture shows Ivan Filipovych before the tragic events in Kyiv, the second one is of him and his father after he was shot at twice on Maidan. We transferred $500 to help Ivan cover his medical expenses.
Ivan went to Maidan five times starting December 1 after students beatings, then again and then enrolled in one of Maidan’s hundreds – to fight for freedom against tyranny of Yanukovych and his government.
When he was leaving to Maidan for the last time and his sister was begging him not to go, he replied: “My brothers are being killed there!”
On February 19, 2014, of February he came to Kyiv for the last time. The first thing he saw out of the bus was black Khreshchatyk (*Kyiv main street) and smoke. They handed out the medications and food they brought with them and went to the front line. They stood there through the night. In the morning the police started a shooting attack. As he was saying – first he saw one man shot in front of him, he ran and brought a doctor.
Then he got shot himself.
One bullet got stuck in his head under the skin. The second came in under the eye and came out through the neck. 1 millimeter up or down and he would have been dead – either the brain or carotid would have been damaged. But he was lucky enough to stay alive.
He was first brought to October hospital in Kyiv, where he spent 2 days. Then he was transported to Poland for surgery and further treatment. The doctors there did their best to put together pieces of bones in Ivan’s mouth and removed the second bullet.
Still he has constant headaches, he can’t read – the eyes constantly get watery, he can’t fully open the mouth and can only eat liquid food. It’s going to take another 6 months for his jaw to restore its function.
Nevertheless, he remains optimistic. Although he is going to need at least one more plastic surgery, he believes that if “God didn’t want us to die then, this means our mission here isn’t over”.