KEY POINTS

  • The teen and the adults were fleeing when Russian troops fired at their vehicle
  • The girl took the wheel and continued driving even after suffering gunshot wounds
  • Ukrainian soldiers found them and transported the vehicle's occupants to a hospital

A 15-year-old Ukrainian girl took the wheel and saved the lives of four adults as Russian troops attacked the vehicle they were traveling in. The teenager continued driving even after both her legs were shot.

Lisa Chernyshenko was fleeing the besieged town of Popasna in the Luhansk region with the adults when their vehicle was struck by Russian fire on their way to Bakhmut. She got behind the wheel after the driver and another passenger sustained severe injuries, causing them to bleed profusely, according to BBC News.

The teenager drove the adults even as their vehicle was attacked again. She didn't stop even when her legs were already wounded.

"There were mines on the road, placed in a chessboard manner. It was impossible to drive though there, but somehow I made it," Chernyshenko said in a video shared by Luhansk Oblast Governor Serhiy Haidai on Telegram, as per NV.

"But then we had to turn right and that's when Russians shot at us again, hitting my legs. There was almost nothing I could do, the car stalled, I barely managed to start it, but the car then stalled again since the vehicle battery was shot by a bullet," the teenager went on to say.

Chernyshenko was struck by at least four bullets. The pinky toe on her left foot was blown off, and her knee was also hit by a bullet.

The teenager continued driving despite the pain.

"I drove as fast as I could. Of course, it wasn't easy, it hurt a lot, but at least it was something. I wouldn't leave them under fire," Chernyshenko said in a video that the First Medical Association of Lviv reportedly handed over to The Insider.

Chernyshenko's misery came to an end when Ukrainian soldiers found the vehicle about 20 minutes into the journey. The teenager and the four adults were saved and received medical attention.

None of the adults in the vehicle was Chernyshenko's relative. The teenager lost her mother seven years ago and was hiding out in Popasna with her godmother until the recent journey to Bakhmut. Her godmother stayed behind in Popasna.

Chernyshenko, who is now receiving treatment at a hospital in Lviv, told CBC there was "no fear" and "no shock" during the dramatic escape.

"There was just a determination to go forward," she told the outlet.

It's been over two months since Russian troops invaded Ukraine and attacked different parts of the country. Dr. Halyna Hachkevich, head of the trauma department of the Children's Hospital of St. Nicolas in Lviv, said the youngest victim her team has had is about 9-months-old.

"It's terrible," Hachkevich told CBC. "Seeing people's grief."

Hachkevich said her team is currently receiving about a dozen pediatric patients from the war zone every week.

"War is the worst thing that can happen in this life," Chernyshenko told the outlet. It will take days or weeks before the teenager is ready to be discharged from the hospital. 

hospital-g31eb07c9f_1280 Representative image Photo: Credit: Pixabay / Engin_Akyurt