Prosthetic Surgery Gives Hope Years After Accident
Gagik Harutunyan’s family lived very near the violent Nagorno-Karabagh War. Like lots of little boys, Gagik and his friends played in the fields where the battles took place and looked for remnants of the war left behind.
Gagik was just four years old when, in 1993, he found large pieces of metal in the field and took them home. Hours later, there was a powerful explosion inside the Harutunyan family home. The house was severely damaged and everyone in the family of five was injured, but it was Gagik who suffered the most severe, life-threatening injuries — his small body riddled with shrapnel and his right eye destroyed.
Life was difficult for the young boy who had to wear an eye patch and had vision in only one eye. The stigma and the social isolation were often more difficult to endure than his loss of vision. Gagik’s dream was to become a professional singer, but he was told he could never go on stage because of his appearance. This tore him apart. A prosthesis was out of reach. His family could not afford the transportation to Yerevan, the surgery and the prosthesis.
Nearly 14 years after his accident, in 2006, Gagik visited the Armenian EyeCare Project’s Mobile Eye Hospital and his life changed. He was finally able to get the prosthetic surgery he needed.