KYIV, Ukraine — Using his small blue crutches, Daniil Avdieienko, 7, gestured toward two deep brown stains on the cement floor of the entryway to his apartment building.
The patch on the right, just inside the door, was his blood, he explained. Then he pointed at the other blood stain: “This is from my mother.’‘
Daniil and his parents were running to a basement shelter in central Chernihiv, a northern city where fighting raged in the early days of the war, when shrapnel struck him in the back. Eventually, he had to have 60 centimeters, or nearly two feet, of his intestines removed. Seven months later he is still recovering from his wounds, and will likely need several more surgeries, as will his parents, both of whom suffered serious leg injuries.
But while his physical injuries are on the mend, he is still grappling with the psychological trauma of the attack.
“Superhero School” to keep their education going and take part in weekly activities, like concerts and painting classes, intended to lift their spirits.
Many of the youngsters suffer from severe anxiety or PTSD, she said.
“If it’s a war trauma, it is very difficult to provide the sense of safety for that child,” she said. “Because the child understands that the war is not over.”
Despite their ordeal, many children push ahead with resolve, and even alacrity. Maryna Ponomariova, who is 6, has been working closely with psychologists, physical therapists and teachers since she came to Ohmadyt hospital this summer, weeks after a devastating May 2 attack on her home in the southern Kherson region.
when a missile plunged into the crowd standing outside.
Yuliia and her aunt were inside the station. A stranger shielded Kateryna with his body, likely saving her life even as he lost his own. The family found their mother’s body in the city morgue the next day.