WATCH VIDEO: Nurse Who Lost Legs In Russian War Dances With Husband During Wedding Ceremony
A couple in Ukraine shared a moving first dance on Monday, with the groom holding the bride in his arms weeks after she lost her legs in a landmine explosion.
On March 27, Balandina was injured in a landmine explosion while walking “on a familiar path” to their home in Lysychansk, the Lviv Medical Association told British outlet Sky News.
In those chaotic seconds, she was able to warn Vasyliv, who was walking behind her and did not get injured.
“I only managed to shout to him [Vasyliv]: ‘Honey, look!’ ” the nurse told Reuters.
Although Vasyliv said he “did not know what to do” after the explosion, Balandina was able to figure out their next steps.
“If it was not for Oksana, I don’t know what would have happened,” he told Reuters. “She is so strong.”
Since then, Balandina has undergone four operations, and both of her legs as well as four fingers on her left hand have been amputated, according to Sky News.
After being evacuated to Dnipro, where she also received care, the couple travelled to Lviv, which is less than 50 miles away from the Polish border, per The Los Angeles Times.
There, they tied the knot in a civil ceremony at the Lviv Surgery Center on Monday, the newspaper reported.
“Life should not be postponed until later,” the Lviv Medical Association told Sky News of the couple’s decision, adding that “in six years together [they had] never found time for marriage.”
Only patients and volunteers were present for the modest festivities, but now the world can see their first dance thanks to a video posted on the hospital’s social media, per the Times.
In the clip, Balandina, who wore a white dress and a pink flower crown, had her arms around her husband’s neck as held her up in his arms. As their dance came to an end, they shared a kiss while onlookers clapped and cheered.
The bride, who told Reuters that her 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter are with their grandparents in central Ukraine, hopes to travel to Germany soon. There, she hopes to get prosthetics and continue to heal.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the first major land conflict in Europe in decades, began when its forces launched a large-scale invasion on Feb. 24. The invasion, ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has drawn condemnation around the world and increasingly severe economic sanctions against Russia.
Details of the fighting in Ukraine change by the day, but more than 3,000 civilians have been reported dead or wounded, according to the United Nations. More than 3 million Ukrainians have also fled.