Lilya – 24-Year-Old Donetsk Mother Fights for Her Leg

Lilya Nikon is a 24-year-old Donetsk native, a young mother, seriously wounded on January 22nd when Ukraine shelling hit a trolleybus she was travelling in, in the Leninsky region of Donetsk. It came as she was travelling with her one-year old son, a week after Lilya had celebrated her 24th birthday. Her wounds were sustained in protecting her son from the blast.

I met Lilya for the first time at a Donetsk hospital, on January 31st – English subtitles –

A charming, intelligent, sparking girl. Here she is before the war impacted –

1Lilya 1Lilya1 1Lilya2

And after – 

IMG_7372 IMG_7366 IMG_7359

Lilya and myself kept in contact –


Lilya then had another operation on the 12th February, she wrote to me with an update –

The operation went well! I feel ok! But the prognosis isn’t certain. There’s a deadline of a week – if my leg doesn’t start to heal, they will amputate it, the doctor said it would be my life, or my leg, in the case it doesn’t start to heal. 

If a specialist surgeon can be found, there is hope for Lilya, in what is perhaps the most critical week of her life. When I asked Lilya in interview what her thoughts were when, upon admission, doctors had told her she may lose her leg, her answer was ‘it felt like death’.

That nightmare is upon this young lady, an educated professional, a caring mother. But if the right surgeon, specialist can be found, that fate can be averted. For that, finances are required.

How to Help Lilya – 

Lilya’s sister, Elena Milenko, has a profile on social networking site Vkontakte, you can write to her  –

You can contact Lilya herself –

If you are not on Vkontakte, feel free to write to me, and I will pass messages on. There is a Western Union account to enable finanical support from across the world.

Thank you, Graham

8 thoughts on “Lilya – 24-Year-Old Donetsk Mother Fights for Her Leg”

    1. Adam, you really mean it?
      Adam, you ‘ve been to Donetsk like Graham did?
      Or the only source of your information is TheGuardian?
      Adam, why do you dislike an alternative point of view so fervently?


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