“If needed, we will be on the frontlines again!”. The fighting spirit of the young people being treated at the Homeland Defender’s Rehabilitation Center is strong. There is no alternative but a full recovery: they are determined to recover as bravely and diligently as they fought on the battlefield, and despite everyone’s own dreams and goals, the protection of their Motherland continues to be their utmost priority.
19-year-old reconnaissance platoon sniper, Henrik Nikoghosyan, was seriously injured while removing his friend’s dead body from the fire zone in Hadrut. His spinal cord was broken because of a gunshot wound. Henrik was transported to the Homeland Defender’s Rehabilitation Center. According to Henrik, he has recovered after three months of rehabilitation at the center. He can now move his hands and arms, get into a wheelchair without any assistance, and walk with the help of certain medical equipment. “The rest is a matter of time,” says Henrik, who specialized in computer design prior to being enlisted in the Army. Using his professional background and experiences, he plans on pursuing higher education
Henrik Nikoghosyan is one of hundreds of soldiers who were seriously injured during the Artsakh wars, and have received and continue receiving rehabilitative treatment at the Homeland Defender’s Rehabilitation Center. The majority of young people with severe spinal cord and head injuries, not only have to learn basic movements again, like standing up but have to overcome immense mental traumas. In order to return to a full life, soldiers also have the opportunity to study, attend various trainings, and learn new skills at the center.
The Family Rescue Fund (FRF), based in California, was one of the first organizations to support the Homeland Defender’s Rehabilitation Center and one of the first agencies to immediately respond to the center’s needs during the last war. The Chair and the Board members of the Foundations have “stayed” with the wounded Armenian soldiers for many years. Their donations were not only monetary: they’ve showered them with their friendship and care. The US-based representatives of the Foundation are no strangers to the center and meeting with the soldiers is the most cherished and anticipated experience for them in Armenia. Visiting the center in January was a wonderful opportunity for FRF representatives to wish our soldiers a Happy New Year and to encourage them. They met with many wounded soldiers, heard their personal stories, and expressed their gratitude for their unwavering and untiring devotion to the Motherland and the Armenian nation.
The representative of FRF had an opportunity to be acquainted with the recent activities of the center and its fully equipped rooms during the tour organized by Saten Mikaelyan, the Head of the center’s PR Department. Mikaelyan informed them that from the start of the war, up to mid-December, they were able to arrange treatment for 300 wounded soldiers. About 70 soldiers stayed at the center, receiving the necessary treatment in rooms supplied with the latest medical equipment, while 100 soldiers have received out-patient care. Doctors from the Center also visited intensive care units of various hospitals and treated soldiers who were in comas. The Center has taken care of soldiers’ rental accommodations in Yerevan (for those residing outside of the capital) and provided them with appropriately equipped vehicles for transportation.
Mikaelyan has also mentioned that their staff members, together with the doctors, have visited hospitals and assessed the primary social and health needs of the wounded soldiers through the center’s “One Window” program. “For example, we can serve a soldier from Artsakh, who has financial issues and is in dire need of shelter, medication, a wheelchair, and other health services. We try to alleviate and solve these needs within the framework of our social program, “said Mikaelyan.
For years, Family Rescue Fund has donated funds for the implementation of different social programs and financed construction of comfortable bathrooms for the wounded soldiers in their apartments. FRF has also assisted soldiers financially, enabling them to start small businesses. This tradition of helping and assisting never faltered and some soldiers have received gifts from the FRF members during their January visit.
38-year-old Karen Jaharyan is from the village of Togh in Hadrut. He was sent into action at the start of the war but was wounded by a drone on October 9. He was immobile and motionless when he was taken to the Homeland Defender’s Rehabilitation Center. He can now slowly move after months of serious treatment. Karen is so looking forward to reuniting with his family, his wife, and two children, age 8 and 13, who have fled their home and are now living in a boarding school in Abovyan.
25-year-old Tigran Asoyan, who has suffered a sprained elbow injury during the battles of Mataghis, stayed at the Homeland Defender’s Rehabilitation Center for only a month and a half. He has nearly made a full recovery and is planning to return to Stepanakert, his hometown.
19-year-old Erik Mkrtchyan, from Vanadzor, has suffered a spinal cord injury in Jabrail. He was also transferred to the Homeland Defender’s Rehabilitation Center in a state of immobility. Erik recovered in a month and can now move around.
35-year-old Armen, a contract soldier, suffered a serious head injury in Kelbajar on October 19. After having undergone several surgeries in Yerevan’s Astghik hospital, his treatment continues at the rehabilitation center, where the dedicated medical staff has managed to achieve magical results within only two months. Armen, whose left side of his body was immobile, is now walking and can move his arm. Armen who grew up in Vardenis is longing to see his two sons. Armen wants to engage in agriculture and cattle breeding.
Homeland Defender’s Rehabilitation Center is able to offer high quality, professional, and effective treatment to more soldiers that have been wounded during the war. Each donation makes it possible for another soldier to return to a normal life.
We urge you to donate now for the Armenian wounded soldiers!