Text by Sara Khojoyan

The wounded heroes live in a different reality. A special department at the Mikaelyan Institute of Surgery reflects that reality. The long corridor leads you to the patient and therapy rooms on both sides where the wounded soldiers are still in hospital bed but with their lives being changed every single day due to the consecutive physical and mental treatment – therapies, exercises, massages, and meeting-discussions. Their means of struggle is silence, while their stories are heartbreaking and worth of true admiration…


Ergo therapy


The Rehab Center treats soldiers and army-men wounded over the past 10 years or so


The Everyday View from the Rehab Center


Arman Movsisyan, 27, Hayk Torosyan, 20 [left to right]

Physiotherapy with the Dr. Alex Torosyan


Numbers on the wall for the Ergo therapy


Massage therapy


20-year-old Roland Sahakyan overcame 12 surgeries: liver, 2 lungs, uterus, stomach, 12 thin bowel, gallbladder… “When they brought him to the hospital the only working organ was his heart,” said his mother, Hripsime Sahakyan, 44, speaking about the new reality as if life should go like that. “My son is alive, this is what matters most.” Roland was wounded in Talish due to the shelling on April 4th, 2016. He couldn’t move for several months. After 1.5 year of struggle, he started to recover although the “map” of scars on his body still indicate the number of surgeries he has had within this period. Yet his soul reflects the strength he has gained over time, and he asks his mother to record his every success. “Mom, take a video of the moment when I do push my legs on my own.”

Roland’s day is usually planned; he has a physiotherapy, an electrotherapy, and an acupuncture session several times a day. “I am not happy about this situation, but I am satisfied with my life. At least, I am alive.”


As a mean of ergo therapy as well as group engaging therapy rehab patients make Ghillie suit that are sent to the army afterwards




Massage therapy with the Dr. Artyem Ohanyan


Rest time in between the therapies


Massage therapy


Rehab kitchen


Different therapies done parallel in the therapy hall of the Rehab Center


The entrance of the hospital, view from the window


His physiotherapist, 26-year-old Alex Torosyan, is sure that Roland’s recovery depends more on him than the doctors. “Maybe he’s not physically strong now, but he is already in high spirits,” doctor said.

Roland stays in hospital with his mother on weekdays and goes home on weekends. He lives in the village of Aygeshat in the Armavir province of Armenia. At the end of the business day, when Roland’s friends, who receive outpatient services here, go home along with the doctors, the department seems empty and boring to Roland. Yet he keeps his mind busy thinking about his future plans.

“When I was in the army I was thinking about getting a degree afterwards, but I did not know what to study back then. Now I know; I want to become a physiotherapist.”

The treatment of Roland has become possible thanks to the “Support for Wounded Heroes” NGO. Currently, the organization supports the treatment of 35 wounded soldiers being in different medical centers one of them being Mikaelyan Institute of Surgery. https://armenianwoundedheroes.com/donate-awhf/

Very soon, the organization will have a new operational area at the rehabilitation center, which is currently under construction. It will be equipped with the most advanced medical facilities and will provide with outpatient services to 50 patients per day and to 20 patients for inpatient care. To support the boys, you can donate http://heratsirehab.com .