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Paralyzed Ex-Soldier Denied Funding For Treatment


Armenia - Gevorg Yeghiazarian, an Armenian soldier wounded and paralyzed in action in 2011, Yerevan, 27Mar2015.

A demobilized Armenian soldier who was gravely wounded in action three years ago risks remaining paralyzed for the rest of his life after the Armenian military has refused to finance his further expensive treatment abroad.

Gevorg Yeghiazarian has been mostly confined to bed ever since an Azerbaijani sniper’s bullet hit his spine in December 2011. He was briefly able to sit and move around in a wheelchair in 2012 after undergoing five-week treatment in Israel, which cost Armenia’s Defense Ministry $70,000.

Citing a lack of funds, the ministry subsequently refused to allocate $56,000 needed for the second phase of his recovery at an Israeli clinic. With Armenia lacking the kind of sophisticated medical facilities that are required for such treatment, Yeghiazarian’s condition has deteriorated since then. The former conscript is now not only confined to bed but also barely able to speak and can breathe and eat only with special tubes.

According to Gevorg’s mother Naira Galstian, the 23-year-old has only one dream now: to get back on his feet. “Let them take him to another country,” she said, referring to government and military officials. “They want their children to be healthy. So do I. After all, I sent a healthy boy [to the army.]”

“My pain is so deep that I don’t know if anybody can understand me,” Galstian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).

“Right now the Defense Ministry cannot afford to again allocate such a sizable sum,” insisted the ministry spokesman, Artsrun Hovannisian. “They had appealed to us and we helped them as much we could. Unfortunately, there is nothing more we can do.”

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