Ukrainian girl, 9, who lost an arm thanks medics as world supports her

Ukrainian girl, nine, who lost an arm when she was shot trying to flee Russian attackers thanks medics as her family say she has been inundated with messages of support from around the world

  • Russians opened fire on family car, killing father and wounding Sasha in the arm
  • Most of her left arm was amputed, but she left hospital to stroll in the sunshine
  • The nine-year-old will undergo another operation tomorrow to help her recovery
  • Sasha thanked doctors, nursing staff and everyone who helped with treatment

The nine-year-old Ukrainian girl who lost an arm after being shot escaping her home from a Russian attack has been inundated with messages of support as her slow progress to recovery started.

The youngster, known only as Sasha, was allowed to leave the hospital ward and take a stroll in the sunshine just days after surgeons amputated her left arm to save her life.

With the left sleave of her new pink coat tucked into her pocket, and wearing black leggings and new trainers, the blonde-haired child smiled into the camera as she posed for a picture.

Sasha will undergo another operation tomorrow to help her recovery.

She was pictured undergoing a medical examination by her doctor ahead of the procedure, wearing a black Tommy t-shirt and green jogging bottoms.

Sasha thanked the doctors, nursing staff and everyone else who helped in her treatment.

Nine year old Sasha, who had to have her arm amputated after she was shot trying to evacuate her home in Gostomel, a suburb of Kyiv

The youngster, known only as Sasha, was allowed to leave the hospital ward and take a stroll in the sunshine just days after surgeons amputated her left arm to save her life

Her sister Ivanka said: ‘Sasha is grateful to everyone and everyone for your support, she reads messages with words of support and smiles, says thank you to everyone.

She added: ‘Sasha underwent medical examinations today and we are staying at the hospital preparing for tomorrow’s operation.’

Sasha was fleeing from fighting in the Kyiv suburb of Hostomel with her stepfather, mother Yuliia and sister last week when the family car was hit by bullets.

Her stepfather was killed and the other three escaped into the street before taking shelter in a cellar.

Sasha drifted in and out of consciousness for two days before she was carried to a nearby hospital on a make-shift stretcher by volunteers waving a white flag.

The nurse who treated Sasha on Ward 5 of the Central Irpen Hospital, in Bucha, has praised her for her strength and courage. Pictured: Sasha before the war

Speaking from her hospital bed before her operation Sasha said: ‘I don’t know why the Russians shot me. I hope it was an accident and that they didn’t mean to hurt me.

‘I was shot in the arm. I ran after my sister. My mum she fell over. I thought it was the end. But she was not dead she was just sheltering from the gunfire. She was hiding.

‘Then I lost consciousness. Someone carried me to a cellar. I was given some treatment there. And then some people carried me on a towel to the hospital.’

The north-western suburbs of Gostomel, Irpin, and Bucha are on the front line of the battle for Kyiv.

The Russian Army launched a massive assault on these satellite towns in the hope of busting through the Ukrainian defence and capturing the capital.

At the Central Irpin Hospital, Bucha, vascular surgeon Dr Vladislav Gorbovec, discovered gangrene had taken hold and he took the decision to amputate her left arm above the elbow. Sasha would have died otherwise.

Flowers are placed around the graves of Ukrainian military servicemen in Starychi, western Ukraine

Dr Gennadiy Druzenko, of the First Volunteer Mobile Hospital, told MailOnline Sasha is one of a number of children who suffered terrible injuries in the battle for Kyiv.

He explained: ‘This girl was brought to the Central Irpin Hospital with terrible injuries.

‘She had been shot while she was evacuating from Gostomel with her parents.

‘Her father was shot dead as he drove them away from the fighting in his car.

The girl, her sister and her mother found safety in a cellar. They stayed there for two days while there was fighting in the streets above them.

‘She was badly injured, lost consciousness and became delirious.

‘Russian soldiers tried to break into the cellar. They shot at the door and screamed at the people to come out.

‘Finally the girl was brought to the hospital by civilians waving a white flag as they ran through the battle zone.

‘She given emergency treatment at the Central Irpin Hospital which was under gunfire.

A woman with a child evacuates from a residential building damaged by shelling, as Russia’s attack on Kyiv continues

Rescuers remove debris from a building damaged by shelling in central Kharkiv on March 16

‘The doctor discovered gangrene was spreading up her arm from her injury.

‘He had to amputate her left arm to save her life.

‘The girl was then transferred to a private clinic Kyiv.

‘She is one of a number of children who have suffered terrible injuries. All of them have lost at least one of their parents.’

Now the youngster, who celebrated her ninth birthday the day before Russia invade on 24th February, has asked for a new pink artificial arm that is covered in flowers.

The nurse who treated Sasha on Ward 5 of the Central Irpen Hospital, in Bucha, has praised her for her strength and courage.

Sasha, who celebrated her ninth birthday the day before Russia invade on 24th February, has asked for a new pink artificial arm that is covered in flowers. Pictured: Sasha before the war

She said: ‘The first thing Sasha said to me was; ‘please be honest do I have a left hand or not?’

‘I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know whether not to say anything, to lie or to tell her the truth.

‘What do you say to a child who is in pain but who knows that she put up with it.

‘She asked if she would be healthy and if she can have a new pink artificial arm coloured with flowers.

‘She is so strong. She does not cry because she knows only weak people cry.

‘She thanked us for saving her life and caring for us.’

The nurse added: ‘I am so angry, and I feel so much hate towards whoever shoots and maims children.’

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