SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A Ukrainian family living in Sioux Falls is asking for help to bring their father home.
Nadiia Belaev and her children sought refuge here from Ukraine in July of 2022, however, her husband was not allowed to leave the country.
“He’s not allowed to leave Ukraine because of the war, if you have less than three children you’re not allowed to leave,” said wife Nadiia Belaev.
Vitaly was fighting on the front lines of the Russian invasion of Ukraine when he got hurt.
“At the time he was injured, he spent more than 8 hours laying on the battlefield, covered with all kinds of debris and when they found him, they had to dig him out,” said Belaev.
Along with losing 50% of his blood, his left leg was also severely injured to the point where they had to amputate it in order to survive.
“He’s about to be discharged, his wound is almost healed,” said Belaev.
His family and their friends have been working with a foundation in Minnesota that supports Ukrainian soldiers with prosthetics and getting them to the United States, however, the family still needs to raise $20,000.
“There is a deadline coming up. As funding, it’s a nonprofit, and they provide a certain amount of the funding and then we are looking to raise funds to get the prosthetic itself, that is not funded, for his leg. And there is a group that they can go in and get them to come over to the U.S. at the end of October,” said family friend Teri Noble.
If they cannot raise the money by October 8th, it could be another 5 months, if not longer, before they can be together again.
“I can’t imagine what they’ve gone through, their family. It’s a way to shed Christ’s light in the darkness and through the war over there,” said Noble.
“I hope we can reunite as a family, because my children missed their dad very much,” said Belaev.
The family says that even the price of a cup of coffee will greatly benefit their efforts to bring their dad home.
Click here to help the Belaev Family.