On August 15, 2014, a pyrotechnic fountain exploded in the hands of Kostya Deblikov. He lost both hands, but not courage. A few months later, the guy received prostheses, the next year he got married and started to drive a car, and three years later he starred in TNT on the television series Tolya Robot. The Challenger author Sasha Bykova spoke with Kostya about the life of a cyborg man in Russia.
Screenwriter Kolya Kulikov himself found me on social networks.
He described the project and offered to participate. I did not doubt a minute - I agreed immediately. I could not stay away from the series, which tells the whole country about the life of a person with prostheses. The guys met their expectations: they seriously approached the matter. Kolya came to Voronezh and for several hours asked me about the intricacies of prosthetics.
The guys went to prosthetic companies, talked with experts. Really plunged into the topic. A lot of false ideas revolve around dentures. Computer games and movies make society think that prostheses give superpowers, turn an ordinary mortal into a superman. This is not so, and the scriptwriters soberly looked at life.
I'm curious how people perceive a person with prostheses on the screen. The trailer came out long before the premiere, and even then they started talking about an implausible plot: they say that a guy from the province would never have received bionic prostheses at the expense of the state. Hot controversy erupted on the Internet, and I'm glad about that. In Russia, the social security system does not work well: no one goes forward. Having been injured or having lost a limb, a person is left alone with the trouble.
He does not know where to go, whom to ask for help. Turns to social services - and they only insert sticks into the wheels. A disabled person either remains without prostheses or receives the wrong ones.
But here is another example. I got good bionic prostheses at government expense, although I live in Voronezh.
And not for me alone! It is possible. You need to know your rights, defend them, fight - and everything will work out. The main thing is to want and be ready to make efforts and spend time.
I never asked myself: why me? why am I out of luck? But he complained of frivolity, that he himself had violated safety rules: he picked up pyrotechnics. Yes, it may have been stored incorrectly.
It is worth the powder damp even a little, as it explodes in the heat of the moment. But it’s my fault too: you can’t set fire to a pyrotechnic fountain while holding it in your hands, it is very dangerous. The fountain exploded - and I lost my brushes. I do not relieve myself of responsibility, but it makes no sense to lament. We must admit mistakes, draw conclusions - and live on.
When I woke up the next morning in the hospital, I experienced neither fear nor despair. I wanted to return to normal life as soon as possible. Why did the psyche work this way? Hard to tell. I was influenced by character, and upbringing, and the people who surrounded me. All together helped to overcome depression.
But the brain cannot be fooled: although I did not give up and immediately got down to business, the adoption of what happened lasted for years. I rethought life, got used to prostheses. Day after day I learned patience.
First you need to determine the meanings and goals, say to yourself, for example: yes, I don’t have legs, but I’m not going to lie in bed and hide from the world. Think about it: what are you living for? what will you do What are you missing? After answering these questions, move on to pressing issues.
How to accept restrictions, how not to be ashamed of oneself in society, how not to feel inferiority - that’s what it is worth working with a psychologist. But first decide why you need limbs. What will you do with them, what goals do you set for yourself. To find the answers, you need to plunge into yourself.
Having survived the shock of what happened, people tend to find support.
They search the Internet for similar stories, blogs, and channels for people who have also had amputations and live with prostheses. In 2014, there was little information in RuNet, except that the portal
. But I found a lot of foreign sites and communities on Facebook. I remember I was inspired by the video
"Be patient if you can"
"Hold it if you can"). There, a Russian guy, a photographer from St. Petersburg, talks about life with two shank prostheses. His story impressed me, inspired me.
In 2015, I was invited to the Moscow Geek Picnic festival.
Discussed cyborgization. Several other guys from Europe and the USA joined us: Nigel Ekland - an official of BeBionic3, Jason Barnes - a cyborg drummer, Angel Giuffria - an American actress with a bionic prosthesis. They are awesome! Cheerful, open. We talked a lot, and I realized how actively people with prostheses live. I was extremely pleased to meet them.
It is important to find people who share your problem and know what you are talking about. It is enough to be near them to understand: I am not an outcast. There are many like me. And they live beautifully, happily.
Immediately after the accident, we opened a fundraiser .
Two and a half months later, four million rubles were raised. Thanks to the friendly community of fire experts! The guys earn a lot of money on the show and were able to help. People are not indifferent, empathize when disaster strikes. Fire experts held events all over the country, where they collected the right amount, and I bought the first bionic prostheses.
And then the German Otto Bock came from an unknown benefactor.
Through a priest, a man turned to us and offered a couple as a gift. Dentures came from St. Petersburg, but we still don’t know who helped.
Dentures are not hands. I cannot gesticulate freely, but I am dealing with important matters.
Limitations are associated with fine motor skills: unfasten buttons, lace up shoes. You can learn, but I did not waste time. Refused shoelaces, updated wardrobe. Still problems arise when you drop a plastic card on a smooth floor: bionic hands do not have nails, it is difficult to pick up a card.
I even drove a car with dentures.
No wonder! The Internet is full of stories about people who remain behind the wheel with amputations of all limbs. And they drive beautifully even cars with a manual gearbox. Matter of habit. Unfortunately, in the regions such people rarely get rights. According to the documents, a person without a few fingers on his hand no longer has the right to drive.
Strange recommendation. If you pass the exam, you can drive. You can not infringe on the rights of people according to physical data.
Remember the American Jessica Cox? She has no hands since birth. A few years ago she became a pilot: she received a license to fly a light-engine aircraft.
Jessica holds the helm with her feet and flies masterfully. Stop thinking with stereotypes. Experience has shown that people with healthy limbs are much more dangerous at the wheel than people with amputations or prostheses.
My father "taught" my new hands how to work with touch screens. I wrapped the copper wire under the cosmetic glove on the prosthesis, released it on one of the fingers wrapped in conductive material - now I can control the screens.
It simplifies life: now touch-sensitive not only smartphones, but also ATMs, terminals. Alas, the prosthetics industry is still conservative. New technologies are being introduced slowly. Of all the prosthetic arms, only one or two models work with screens. To call, I use a push-button telephone - it is more convenient and faster.
When you need the Internet and social networks, I take a smartphone.
People with disabilities attract attention . They stare, stare at them, they are considered as outlandish animals. Five years later, I do not perceive other people's views so painfully - I’m used to looking at me. But I'm still not ready to walk with dentures, especially in Voronezh.
Even in hot weather, I put on a light shirt with long sleeves so as not to attract attention. It's easier for me. Conferences and filming are another matter. I keep my hands there.
Relatives and friends quickly got used to it.
No one panicked, did not tear his hair, did not cry. Everyone was filled with determination and immediately set to work: they began to collect money for prostheses. I am grateful to the family that she shared my attitude to amputation. This is a problem that needs to be solved - and move on.
Yana was there.
She had a hard time, but we met for a long time, and she knew me very well. She was sure that the accident would not prevent me from living actively, making money, building a future. A year after the accident, we got married.
I am a journalist. Now I am writing about high-tech prosthetics, the latest developments, about how to get a prosthesis at the expense of the state.
But I do not believe that I was destined to survive a tragic incident in order to share experience with the world. So there were hundreds, thousands of circumstances. They led me to the point where I am doing a fire show, violating safety rules, picking up pyrotechnics, setting fire to it - and my brushes open. This is not providence, not someone’s cunning plan. Weakly believe that God sent me suffering so that I help people.
In my place could be anyone.
But it is important for me to support those who are left without limbs. Now I’m working on a site where truthful information about prosthetics in our country will be collected. I want to bring people together, hold events, organize group psychological rehabilitation. The project is non-profit - you have to look for money to implement it.
I hope for grants: socially oriented NGOs receive money from the state. In addition, I count on the help of the public. Let's try to open a fund for particularly costly projects.
If there were no dentures? I would live the same way. Maybe he would be shy more.
My friend from Moscow in childhood suffered an electric injury and lost both hands. For more than ten years he lived without hands. According to his passport, he is Moldovan and until last year could not get prostheses for free. It all depends on the person. If there are no prostheses, but you want to live a normal life, you will learn how to do without them.
Like my friend. He did an excellent job: went to the store, washed dishes, served himself with stumps. Is it hard? Yes. But probably.