Bazin Valery

33 years old

Amputation of two arms above the shoulder

At the age of 33, Valery Bazin from Rybinsk is a world champion in parathekwondo and regularly competes for Russia at international competitions. He achieved all this after he lost both hands.

At the end of the summer of 2014, Valery's life changed forever. At work, the guy was electrocuted: he accidentally touched a piece of iron that was energized. As a result — severe electrical trauma, intensive care and two days of fighting for life in the hope that the hands will be saved. But the doctors said: "If you want to live, you will have to amputate both arms up to the shoulders." Valera remembers — it was so bad, toxicosis and blood poisoning affected, that he could not even move, but even think about what he would do without hands. How to feed my wife and two little daughters? Everything that had happened before: work, sports tourism, a car — I had to forget everything. How not to break down and survive in a world where everything is done by hand — in an interview with Valery Bazin.

— My six-year-old daughter had a nervous breakdown. She was very worried and got used to me for a long time. Therefore, I decided that when I get cured, I will not come home with a sour face, but I will smile, I will show my daughters that everything is fine. So that the children help me not with pity that I have no hands, but, on the contrary, with pride that dad can live without their help.

Two weeks after the operation, Valera slowly began to recover. But the phantom pains have remained until now.

— Sometimes, the little finger itches, the fist hurts. At first I even woke up and forgot that I had no hands. The first time I ate, I wanted to put my elbows on the table. I forgot a couple of times and hit my head on the table," Valery laughs at himself.

Friends gave Valera a laptop. In just two weeks, he learned to type on it with his feet.

— My future coach wrote to me then. He trains disabled people so that they do not sit still, but participate in competitions. I like martial arts since childhood. I felt that it was mine. I decided: I'll get better and go straight to the gym. I understood that I was disabled, but it didn't stop me. I wanted to prove to my family that I didn't give up, didn't break down. Let them support me, then I will do everything to justify their trust and help.

Valery began to train hard. In three months, he was able to sit on all three splits.

"I had a wild desire to recover and forget that I have no hands"

It was difficult to learn how to keep balance. Valera often fell and landed not like everyone else on his hands, but often on his shoulders or on his head.

— I even broke my collarbones. I understood that I could break my head at any moment, but the coach taught me how to group when falling. Now I have all the balance in my legs.

Everything we do with our hands — we write, eat, type a message in the phone, Valera has adapted to do with his feet.

— My handwriting has even become the same as it was. I learned to write right away, but my fingers were numb for a while. I couldn't hold the pen for long. Now the legs have become strong. I can hold a hammer and a drill.

— It seems to me that it is almost impossible to get a phone out of your pocket without someone's help, without having hands?

— If I go somewhere and I need a phone, I take my purse, hang it on my shoulder. Then I just put it on a pebble or bench to get the phone out of it with my feet. In winter, you have to look for shoes without laces so that you can quickly pull out your foot. If you want to be as independent as possible, you have to come up with something.

If I stay at home alone, then I eat with my feet. The legs are much stronger than the arms. I can get a saucepan out of the refrigerator with them, and make up the bed. I can even change the bed linen. I also really like to vacuum.

— Is it probably difficult for you to type a message in your phone?

— No, on the contrary, it's the easiest. I even competed with a friend who was faster. I type faster with my toes than he does with his hands.

Valera does not like to travel by public transport. It's easier for him to walk. — People have different reactions. I ask the conductors to take the change out of their pocket. Some take it, and some refuse, saying that they will put their hand in someone else's pocket.

— You have been to international competitions many times. Tell me, how do people with disabilities feel abroad?

— If a foreigner sees that you are limited in opportunities, he will immediately try to help you. You don't even have to ask. We need to ask. It seems to me that our people are afraid of disability.

Five years have passed since Valera lost his hands. For many years, his wife was by his side. But a year ago they parted good friends. Valery does not condemn her: not everyone can stand this.

— When I was with my hands, I was always at home. And when he lost his hands, he began to build a sports career. I was practically not at home, and we became estranged from each other. It's hard, but it depends on the person who got into such a situation. If he is used to being always helped, then sooner or later anyone will get tired of it. I advise people who help to be patient and realize why he helps. To understand that it is for the good.

Now Valery lives with a girl he met on the Internet. At first we corresponded, then we decided to meet. 

— We had a lot to talk about, we have a lot of common interests. She probably fell in love with me because I'm purposeful. Someone even said to me: looking at you, I want to smile and enjoy life. Now the guys are married and Valera has a son growing up. 

And what about prosthetics? Have you received or tried to use it?

— At SPTM-ortho M, two types of prostheses with microprocessor control and active ones were made for me. However, long training sessions are needed to learn how to use them, and there is no time for this: constant intensive training and preparation for the European and Russian championships. Therefore, while I don't use prostheses as often as I would like, but I have plans to learn.

— To be honest, basically nothing has changed in my life. The only thing is that I have become a more hardened character, I began to look differently at human misfortune. I'm not sorry at all. What was, was, why look back? On the contrary, I made more friends, I started competing for Russia, I began to bring benefits that I did not bring with my hands.