Lessya Kotelevskaya doing well after first follow-up visit

Published on November 27, 2013

Lessya Kotelevskaya is doing well after her first follow-up with Dr. Jarrod Little last week and looking forward to her first Thanksgiving in the United States.

Lessya visited Dr. Little on Friday, and he said “everything looks great.” Lessya, who was misdiagnosed with cancer at age 19 in Kazakhstan and disfigured by treatments there she didn’t need, had her first surgery with Dr. Little, a UofL Physicians plastic and reconstructive surgeon, on Nov. 14 to begin repairing the damage to her face and jaw. During that surgery, Dr. Little installed an implant to prepare the skin for her major reconstructive surgery on Jan. 30, 2014.

Lessya’s cousin, Oleg Sennik, who brought her to the United States and translates for her, said they are so grateful for the kindness shown to them.

“We really want to thank everyone very much for all the prayers and all the support. People have been sending letters, flowers and gifts, they are so nice, we really can’t thank them enough.”

He said that he and Lessya were particularly touched by customers in Trader Joe’s who recognized Lessya from news reports and brought her flowers, and the customers in a Starbucks who also recognized her and bought her a cup of coffee.

“It’s unbelievable, really,” he said. “For her to come from a place where no one cared to this – it means so much.”

In response to the number of requests from the public to help Lessya, friends of Oleg’s have set up a GoFundMe site for her at www.gofundme.com/561dpc. An account also has been set up by her family in her name at Fifth Third Bank. Donations can be made at any Fifth Third Bank branch in the U.S. by stopping in and saying you would like to make a donation or deposit to the account for Lessya Kotelevskaya. Donations also may be mailed to: Fifth Third Bank, 4090 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40207. Note that it is a donation for Lessya Kotelevskaya. Please note: These accounts are independent funds managed entirely by Lessya’s friends and family, not UofL Physicians. Any questions about the account should be directed to Fifth Third Bank.

To learn more about Lessya’s story, visit the UofL Physicians “Hope for Lessya” web page, www.UofLphysicians.com/hope-for-lessya.