Van Hollen, Duckworth Meet with Ukrainian Soldier Receiving Treatment at Silver Spring Medical Center

Earlier this week, Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) met with Ukrainian soldier Oleksandr Chaika, who is receiving care at the Medical Center Orthotics and Prosthetics (MCOP) in Silver Spring.

A Ukrainian athlete, choreographer, acrobatics coach, and teacher, Oleksandr joined the Ukrainian military shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his war on the country.

Chaika was deployed to the Luhansk region, where he lost a leg as a result of an explosive device. Through the assistance of Sen. Van Hollen’s office, Oleksandr has now received a prosthetic leg as part of MCOP’s Operation Renew to assist Ukrainian military personnel.

MCOP has committed to providing prosthetics to up to six wounded Ukrainians as part of Operation Renew, according to Montgomery Community Media.

“The people of Ukraine have inspired the world in their valiant defense against Putin’s unprovoked war,” Sen. Van Hollen said in a statement. “We are moved by their courage, and it was an honor to join Oleksandr to express our gratitude for his service and the service of so many Ukrainian men and women who are fighting in the name of freedom, democracy, and the sovereignty of their nation. I was proud to help facilitate Oleksandr’s journey to the United States, and I’m glad to see him receive such dedicated care here in Maryland from the team at Medical Center Orthotics and Prosthetics, who also have provided care to many of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed. As we emphasized to Oleksandr, the Ukrainian people have our full support, and we will continue fighting to provide the resources they need to stand firm against Russia’s aggression.”

“It was an honor to meet with Oleksandr—not just to be able to thank him for his sacrifices during Putin’s unjustifiable war, but also to speak with him about the recovery process as he learns to walk with his new leg,” Sen. Duckworth said. “With his impressive attitude and personality, as well as the skilled care he’s receiving at Medical Center Orthotics and Prosthetics, I have no doubt he’ll be able to do everything he wants to in life after losing his leg. For our part, we must continue to support the Ukrainians and provide them the resources they need to defeat Putin on the battlefield, reclaim Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty and protect its people and its right to self-governance. We can’t give up on them now.”

“I want to thank Senators Van Hollen and Duckworth for coming to MCOP and spending time with me and my wife Anna,” Chaika said through an interpreter. “Thank you for America’s incredible help in this war. It helps very much for us in [the] battle to know that we have the support of your great country! I also want to thank Mike Corcoran and everybody from MCOP for giving me this new leg. It will change my life. I also want to thank the Future For Ukraine Foundation and all the Americans who arranged for me and my wife Anna to come here and help us while we’re here. Thank you all!”

“Medical Center Orthotics and Prosthetics is honored and proud to be able to help Ukrainian wounded warriors who are fighting for democracy and freedom,” MCOP co-founder Mike Corcoran said. “Our experience in treating US Service Members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for the past 17 years with complex battle injuries has allowed us to provide state-of-the-art functional prosthetic limbs for those severely injured Ukrainians Soldiers. We were honored to host Senator Van Hollen and Senator Duckworth at our headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland to meet with Oleksandr Chaika who received his prosthesis and is currently undergoing rehabilitation here. Senator Van Hollen was instrumental in arranging the documentation necessary to help bring him over from Ukraine. Tuesday’s event highlighted the need for these wounded warriors and the care that they are receiving here in Maryland. MCOP is committed to treating five more Ukrainian wounded warriors with serious injuries and high-level amputations.”

Photos of Senator Van Hollen and Senator Duckworth, taken on October 11, 2022, at 10:30 AM at Medical Center Orthotics and Prosthetics (2421 Linden Ln, Silver Spring, MD). The Senators are meeting with Ukrainian soldier Oleksandr Chaika who is receiving care. (Official U.S. Senate photos by Rosa Pineda)

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