6-year-old released from Miami hospital after injuries from missile blast in Ukraine

MIAMI – A 6-year-old girl extracted from the front lines of the Ukraine-Russian war was released from a Miami hospital Thursday after receiving treatment from a missile that hit her home last month.

Alisa Kulzhynska and her parents come from the city of Kherson, an area initially captured by the Russians, but is now liberated.

“They took a direct missile hit directly into their home,” Andrew Duncan, of the Romulus T. Weatherman Foundation, told Local 10 News on Feb. 10.

The rocket not only hit the family’s home, but Alisa’s bedroom took a direct hit.

After the blast, the family was able to escape to the capital, Kyiv, where they eventually connected with the Romulus T. Weatherman Foundation, a group helping Ukrainian families who need medical attention.

“There was a huge explosion and then there was darkness, silence and I heard screaming. They had to pull her out from debris,” said Svitlama Rogers, of the Romulus T. Weatherman Foundation.

Rogers told Local 10 News that Alisa lost her eye and needed some plastic surgery. She also sustained injuries to her leg and fingers.

After a 17-hour ambulance ride to the border with Poland, Alisa was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital to receive care.

Alisa was then transported by recommendation to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida, an outpatient center at the University of Miami, where she spent three weeks recovering after going through multiple surgeries.

Yuliia Kulzhynska, Alisa’s mother, thanked first responders Thursday for all of their assistance.

“We want to say thank you for the recommendation to the Ronald McDonald House and for helping our family at such a difficult time,” she said.

Soraya Rivera-Moya, Executive Director at the RMHC, told Local 10 News that keeping the family together while Alisa heals is the first priority.

“We’re very happy to be able to help them,” she said. “Alisa is a beautiful girl and this family really needed to be together.”

Alisa will now continue recovery at an apartment provided at no cost.

She is now wearing a cast on her leg, but told Local 10 News that she plans on going swimming soon.

Alisa was also heard saying “thank you!” to Local 10 News after the camera shut off.

About the Authors:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.