Dmytro Bohdanenko’s wife – Svitlana:
“My husband and I met when he was in the second year of medical college. Even then, he dreamed of becoming a military doctor in order to be able to help those who suffered from the war. College was just the beginning of a long road to this dream, and the next step was medical university. The profession of a doctor requires an incredible amount of effort and work, but this did not stop Dmytro, on the contrary, he increasingly wanted to be a military doctor in order to help people wounded in the war and protect his country.
Of course, I was aware of what it means to be a medic: on duty in hospitals, urgent calls to work, a very busy schedule, and the title of a military medic imposes even more responsibilities on a person. That’s why I asked Dmitry to give up this dream, to choose something else, but in response I kept hearing one thing: “I have to help the wounded and I have to do everything so that you and our children live in a peaceful country.” Therefore, immediately after the medical university, he did not go to the usual internship, but entered the Ukrainian Military Medical Academy. Again a lot of training, again on duty and lots and lots of work, but could this be an obstacle on the way to the dream? And so, after this long, multi-year and somewhat exhausting journey, my husband realized what he so longed for – he became a military doctor, an officer of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. And I haven’t seen him as happy as the day he received this title – it’s been a long time.
And then we had many more plans and dreams: our own home, travel and many happy days together. But all this was crossed out by one day – February 24, 2022, a day that will forever become black for millions of Ukrainians.
Dmytro met the beginning of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in Mariupol. We didn’t talk much, because they had a lot of wounded people who needed emergency care. But in the few free minutes he had, he called me. Dmytro did not tell much about what was happening there, he was very worried about us and the children, so he constantly reassured us: “Don’t worry. I’m all right. I am where I should be – with the wounded. And your main task is to protect children and yourself.”
Dmytro was still in touch on April 9. He spoke very calmly, said that the situation was difficult, but again asked to protect the children first of all. And to pray… And already on April 15, I got a call from a Russian number, introduced myself as employees of the Donetsk National Republic, and informed that my husband had been captured. I didn’t believe it. How can you take medics prisoner? Therefore, I persuaded them to give the phone to my husband. And then my Dmytro confirmed that he was indeed captured.
And now, for 10 months, our best dad and husband, a doctor whose main task was to save the wounded, has been in captivity. And we are waiting… We are waiting and hoping for our HERO to return home.”