A retired Ukrainian Olympian has had knee surgery in Dubai to relieve her from many years of pain caused due to a debilitating condition.
Larisa Strotskaia, aged 69, who represented the Soviet Union during the 1972 Munich Olympics in the long jump, said she was ‘haunted’ by pain as it was so terrible caused by severe osteoarthritis in both knees as medication gives her little relief.
Strotskaia travelled to Dubai with her husband, Boris Eremeev, last December to visit their children residing in the country. It was during their visit that war broke out in their country.
Her condition was deteriorating day by day, and it worsened after she got swelling in both her legs and was then unable to walk, sit or even lie down without pain.
Doctors recommended surgery, but the family couldn’t afford treatment.
Larisa said, “I tried everything from having pain killers to injections to doing physiotherapy so that I could get some relief.”
“We had come here to visit our children and grandchildren. We were preparing to go back to Ukraine in March, but things turned upside down for us in this short time.”
The Ukrainian consultant in Dubai put the couple in touch with Aster hospitals, which covered the entire cost of the treatment.
Strotskaia recently underwent a total knee replacement surgery at Aster Hospital, Qusais, Dubai.
“We don’t have a country to go back to,” she said because of the war in her home country, Ukraine.
“The government gave us a special approval for us to reside in the country for a year,” said her husband, Boris.
“We had come with little money to spend a short break with our children and grandchildren.”
“Neither could we afford the surgery price here in Dubai, nor could we go back to Ukraine.”
“We are going through the toughest time in our life.”
“We have lost everything in our life,” said Strotskaia.
Ukrainian Larisa Strotskaia is an Olympic player who represented the Soviet Union during the 1972 games in the long jump.
The Ukrainian citizen was a track and field coach and physical trainer for over 40 years.
She said that she is relieved of pain after so many years. “I can walk without pain, and I am looking forward to this. The pain in my knees has been tormenting me for some time now.”
Dr Raghavendra K Siddappa, the orthopaedic specialist at Aster, performed the four-hour bilateral total knee replacement, swapping the damaged bone and joint for titanium and cobalt-chromium metal implants.
She will be undergoing physiotherapy for two more weeks to recover her strength.