Yuri Shelamov

Recovery after an accident

Amputation above the knee

The story of one very interesting person who did not break under the blows of fate and even gets joy from life.

Meet Yuri. 37 years. 2 years on a hip prosthesis. Survived 2 amputations. Since childhood, he led an active lifestyle: football, skiing, running. Since 2014, he has become interested in hiking and climbing. He was on the peaks of Elbrus (5642 m) and Kazbek (5033 m), in the mountains of Kazakhstan, the Northern and Southern Urals in winter and summer multi-day hikes (Taganai, the Dyatlov Pass, Man Pupu Nyory. After amputation, he continues to engage in physical education. In the summer of 2022 with his wife and seven-month-old daughter were in the Elbrus region: walked along the slope from Garabashi to Shelter 11, went to the Maiden Braids waterfall, climbed Mount Cheget on foot. Experienced, as they say, will understand)

Hello! My name is Yuri. Today I want to tell you about how I ended up in a situation where I needed prosthetics.

Together with my wife Katya, we were engaged in cycling and often went on trips to other cities, especially on weekends. But on September 4, 2020, our life changed dramatically.

The day started off great. The golden rays of the sun, penetrating through the thickets of foliage, played on our cheeks as we slowly pedaled our bicycles. The rich aroma of fresh earth and trees filled our lungs, giving a feeling of freedom and lightness. The road was smooth as silk, and bright yellow leaves stretched along it, creating beautiful pictures that captured the unforgettable impressions of this beautiful September day. That is how we will remember this day. But the harsh reality was different...

The idyll of this day did not last long and ended in a violent collision with a crazy driver in tinted Zhiguli. We were on a family trip to the dacha to visit close friends, when suddenly and at great speed a car swept by, overtaking a truck on the side of the road. In that moment, our lives changed forever. Katyusha, my beloved wife, received a blow on a tangent, then a blow followed, and I was thrown onto the asphalt. As a result, the bicycle, which was my faithful companion, lay mangled on the road, and I, with an open fracture of the lower leg, tried to understand the situation, lying in my own blood, among the speeding cars.

I slowly lost consciousness, feeling how my being obeys the forces of terrible darkness, hiding in its depths a terrible horror.

The first thing I learned, waking up from a 10 second unconscious state, was my terrible injury - a crushed leg. And more than three liters of lost blood. Bright colors and joyful associations, which previously permeated my being, were replaced by fear and painful longing, penetrating my whole being.
I do not consider my incident an accident. I am convinced that drivers should be responsible on the road, take into account the speed and their capabilities in order to avoid unnecessary troubles. The reckless driver on the road, who decided to play with fate, chose the wrong path. This gross mistake not only led to his punishment, but also had tragic consequences for other people. I consider it unfair to forgive the perpetrator of the offense, since his short-sightedness caused the tragedy. Every driver should be aware that happiness, life and safety come to the fore, even if he is moving fast on an empty road. My situation should be considered as a warning, which helps to recognize the degree of danger in a timely manner and avoid negative consequences in the future.
The doctors fought with great diligence for my life, but the injuries were so serious that they required a major operation, with the subsequent amputation of my leg above the knee, due to the threat of gangrene. These consequences became the darkest period in my life, leaving their dark mark on her and leaving an inexpressible scar.
The ensuing silence that hung over me after the operation seemed not only deaf, but forever final. My pain and suffering were unbearable, and I did not know how to continue to live in this new world, where the leg, which had served me faithfully for so many years, was now doomed to eternal absence. I spent the days after the amputation struggling with painful sensations that could not leave me alone for a minute. My being was closed for many long hours, trying to just survive this blow of fate, and not die in agony. Each breath seemed to be the last, all thoughts were woven into crooked plots of a tragic life. But the medical staff gave me hope that I would become stronger and more resilient, cope with my stress and mental breakdown. The dark days that seemed to never end have become a new reality that needs to be accepted and overcome. Despite all the pain, injustice, and uncertainty in my head, I tried to learn new habits so that my new lifestyle did not cause an immense load of unnecessary thoughts and feelings. I tried to be brave, give myself a break, and find in my gloomy thoughts a bright flash of hope for a future that seemed to be lost in the darkness of pain and uncertainty. However, I knew that the path would be long and difficult, but I decided not to despair and believe that I could overcome all the obstacles that were thrown in my way.

No doubt I was upset and scared when the tragedy happened to my leg. I was filled with resentment and fear of an unknown future. But after the first shock, I decided that it was necessary to continue to live and develop.
Since childhood, I have loved an active lifestyle and have been involved in many sports, such as football, skiing, running. When I was left without a leg, it was very important for me to regain the opportunity to do my favorite activities. I began actively looking for prosthetics in an attempt to regain my normal life. Together with my wife, we explored many options for prostheses and prosthetists.
However, I did not give up and continued to search, talked on the forums, studied other people's experience and reviews. I clearly knew what I want, it remains to get what I want.
I got into SPTM-ortho on the recommendation and by joint efforts we were able to design a microprocessor-controlled prosthesis for me. However, the presence of a microprocessor does not mean at all that the prosthesis will walk by itself. It was not only a new beginning for me, but also a return to my old way of life.
I had to readjust and rethink many things in my life. The period of adaptation to a new way of life was very difficult, but I did not feel lonely and helpless. I was surrounded by people who were always ready to help and support me.
My mother and girlfriend (now wife) were by my side every day and looked after me when I needed help. They came up with many ways to keep me from feeling isolated and out of the ordinary. They convinced me that I'm still the same person. The same Yura...
I was very lucky, because in addition to close people, many friends and acquaintances also supported me in difficult moments. They encouraged me, invited me to various events and helped me feel comfortable in society.
I had to go through a lot of physical and emotional pain to learn how to be mobile and independent enough.

new reality
Just before the start of rehabilitation, I felt an unreal tension, as if my “new leg” simply did not want to cooperate with me, choosing its own path and not listening to my commands. I began to notice how a huge amount of sometimes painful and unpleasant sensations accumulated, which dictated every movement and turned the training process into a painful pastime. My injured leg, which witnessed the monstrous changes that I experienced after the amputation, continued to assert its right to exist and did not want to obey my will. I understood that in order to move forward and turn this fight against the disease in my favor, it was necessary to adjust my new knee to myself, to make sure that my muscles and joints took the new movements for granted and worked exactly as they should. But patience was not enough, I could not sit still, I hated my weakness and willingly switched to intensive training in order to overcome my inner torment. I always remembered that even in my vivid memories of the beautiful, when everything went perfectly, in life there is always a new challenge waiting for us. We must be not only strong, but also self-confident, because only in this way can we achieve our goal, even if there are obstacles on the way. Knowing this, I continued to believe in myself and my abilities, confident that my faith would eventually lead me to the success that I so persistently go for.

As I gradually got used to the new state, my inner fears began to give way to confidence, and the restoration of life opportunities was gaining momentum. The expansion of the functionality of my new "assistant" was made possible by increased training, the development of my muscle groups and improved physical mobility.

Prosthetics have completely changed my life. Although the need to use a prosthesis has become a life limit for me, I did not let myself break and managed to learn how to adapt to the new situation. Thanks to perseverance and perseverance, I found in the prosthesis not only a means to overcome obstacles, but also an opportunity to improve myself. I changed my mentality, became more assertive and confident, learned to make plans based on my abilities, and not on the circumstances.
Today, I no longer perceive the prosthesis as a limitation, but as a new starting point for personal growth. I believe that the difficulties that I have to face along the way only make me stronger, bolder and more persistent. I strive to be an example for others, proving that it is possible to live a full and successful life on a prosthesis, despite stereotypes and outdated ideas.
Thanks to sports activity and my concern for health, I show others that it is possible to play sports with a prosthesis, achieving excellent results. I tried to be open and sociable, which allows others to better understand my situation. Of course, sometimes I encounter prejudices and negative reactions, but I try to ignore them and continue on my way. In the end, I believe that only my own confidence and perseverance will help me overcome any difficulties and prove to others that the prosthesis is not an obstacle to a fulfilling life, but a tool to overcome any obstacles.
Despite losing a part of my body, I have not lost faith in myself and my potential. On the contrary, prosthetics only strengthened my position in life and stimulated my desire for self-improvement and overcoming obstacles. Reality pushed me to a more reverent attitude towards life. I appreciate every moment and continue to move forward, opening new horizons for myself and other people, looking for new opportunities in self-development and self-realization.
The new lifestyle after prosthetics did not have a significant impact on my work and social relationships. I continue to work in my previous position and do not experience any problems in the process of work. My friends and loved ones stand shoulder to shoulder with me and support me in all my undertakings. I also continue to make new friends and expand my social circle.

In fact, the prosthesis opened up new opportunities for me in various areas of life, and I actively use them. In sports, for example, I have broadened my horizons by trying sports that I previously thought were inaccessible. I take part in social life and do not miss the opportunity to travel, enjoy culture and immerse myself in new environments.
The prosthesis gave me freedom of action and the opportunity to realize my dreams. For example, I realized my old dream of skydiving, feeling the adrenaline and the freedom of flight.
I appreciate these new opportunities and try to use them to the fullest in order to overcome the boundaries and enjoy life, despite the obstacles that I have overcome.

Prosthetics affected my physical and emotional component in different periods of time in different ways. On the one hand, the prosthesis reproduced my movements with considerable accuracy, and this allowed me to live a normal (normal) life again. I was able to walk, run and even play sports, which made my quality of life much better than it was before the injury.
However, there were times when I did not feel comfortable with the prosthesis, especially at the beginning of my use of it. I felt clumsy and inept, and this caused some anxiety and anxiety.
Over time, I began to get used to the prosthesis and learned to work better with it, which allowed me to feel more confident and comfortable. Prosthetics can be beneficial if you learn to live with them, not against them.
From an emotional point of view, prosthetics gave me more confidence, pleasure and optimism than I expected. I felt that I could fully participate in life again, no matter how severe my disability status would be. I understood that my trauma did not define me as a person, and that I had a wonderful world waiting for me to explore and participate in it.
The prosthesis allowed me to do my favorite things again - play sports, travel and learn something new. I began to feel like a more valuable and significant member of society, and my self-esteem strengthened.
In addition, I began to notice that the people around me are more respectful and friendly when they see how I successfully solve life's problems. It also further increased my confidence and good mood.
Prosthetics have changed my perception of the world, life and myself. I began to appreciate and love life and all its possibilities that need to be experienced even more. Understanding the finiteness of life and the possibility of its sudden end made me take a closer look at the people around me and taught me to be more aware. I understand that I could be left without hope of recovery and become a "vegetable" in a hospital bed. Therefore, when I am asked what I choose, I always answer: I choose to enjoy life, even with a prosthesis, because I value it too highly.

What advice would you like to give? If you are just starting to use a prosthesis, it may take some time for you to adjust to the changes in your life and your movements. Here are some tips to help you use your prosthesis and achieve your goals:
1. Never give up training. They will help you maintain your well-being, strengthen your muscles and improve your health.
2. Find competent prosthetists who will approach your issues with understanding and full dedication.
3. Start slowly and gradually increase the load on the prosthesis. This will help you not to get overwhelmed and gradually improve your skills.
4. Feel free to ask for help from friends, loved ones, professionals, and others who can help you adjust to using your prosthesis.
5. Try to constantly develop and look for new ways to use your prosthesis. This can include learning new sports, teaming up with other people who use prostheses, and more.
6. The most important thing is not to lose heart. There may be difficulties and obstacles along the way with the use of a prosthesis, but it is important to keep moving forward in spite of them.
In general, I use various methods and techniques to cope with stress and set my inner world in a positive way. I believe that everyone can learn to control their emotions and stress in order to live a happier and more successful life.
I continue to participate in hiking and mountain climbing because it gives me the opportunity to overcome the boundaries of my body and mind, to learn more about myself and the world. I'm not afraid to test myself for strength, on the contrary, I enjoy this process. When I first got to the mountains, I felt some special excitement. I understood that the mountains are a real test, but true satisfaction from life can only be achieved when you overcome your boundaries and achieve your goals.

Apart from that, I also like cycling. This is a great way to maintain your health and stay in shape. I like to go around towns and villages, enjoy the view of nature, stop and share my impressions with other people.
I also want to learn how to drive a car. I believe that this will give me the opportunity to be more independent and mobile, as well as continue to enjoy travel and adventure.
All these hobbies require a lot of physical and mental resilience from me, but that's what attracts me. I want to continue finding and achieving new goals while enjoying life and doing my best to stay active and happy.