Riverside to Perform Surgery on Orphan from Ukraine

August 21, 2020


WVEC Story

Heart for Orphans, a Williamsburg-based charity, is excited to announce that Riverside Regional Medical Center will peRiverside Foundationorm skull surgery pro-bono on 16-year-old Maxim Skrynnik. Maxim, an orphan, lives in Heart for Orphans’ transition home “Mercy House” in Odessa, Ukraine. Heart for Orphans brought Max and his guardian to the U.S. on October 7th. The surgery will be peRiverside Foundationormed at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, VA, on Wednesday, October 21st by Dr. William McAllister, a neurosurgeon. Dr. McAllister is placing a titanium mesh plate on Maxim’s skull behind his right forehead. The mesh plate will help reinforce the skull fractures.

Maxim was only three years old when his father took his anger out on him.  Maxim was thrown to the floor causing severe fractures to his skull. The toddler immediately underwent surgery in Ukraine where doctors placed metal plates on his skull to keep it together. He wasn’t supposed to survive, but he defied the odds.

After spending many lonely months in a hospital, Maxim was placed in an orphanage as neither parent could care for the child. Soon after, his father, who had been incarcerated for harming him, died followed thereafter by his mother who suffered from alcoholism and a heart disease. Maxim was now a true orphan. After enduring many years in an orphanage where children ridiculed him because he was a sickly child, he found home and the love of family. Maxim came into the care of Mercy House and housemother, Dr. Lina Nazarenko.

Mercy House is one of Heart for Orphans’ Transition Homes where orphan teens (ages 16 – 22) have a chance to live in a home and experience a life they have never known. Each home is staffed by mature house parents who shower these kids with love, patience and understanding all while instilling in them a sense of right and wrong. In addition, house parents teach them life skills and what it means to be part of a family. They lead by example when it comes to treating others with love, respect and dignity all while living in a Christ-centered environment.

About Heart for Orphans
Heart for Orphans is a 501(c)3 ministry that provides support and stability to teens who age-out of the orphanage system, and orphans still in the system. Without intervention, these kids face a life of crime, drugs, alcohol and prostitution.  Many end up in prison… or sold by sex traffickers… or die too young. Heart for orphans programs are in Ukraine, Khyrghizstan and Kenya.