Once Albert realized how his condition was affecting his mother, he dedicated his energy to getting better. Not even the thought of the accident that put him in the hospital – a careless mistake by his commanding officer, according to a ruling by a court – could distract him from his treatment.
But there was a limit that could be done for him in Armenia. Following several months at the Central Military Hospital and the rehabilitation Center for Armenian Soldiers in Yerevan, doctors told him he would have to seek additional treatment in Germany.
The surgeries, offered at a hospital in Heidelberg, Germany, cost $45,000. While Albert received some compensation for his injury, he and his parents did not have the resources to pay for the surgeries.
The Armenian government could also not pay the full amount.
When the public learned about his plight, a crowdfunding page was created for him and the money was quickly raised. “Then I realized that I have to live for the people – those who were known to me and the strangers, who raised all the money for me. I saw that even kids donated 5-10 dollars,” Albert says.
The surgeries, aimed at treating Dural arteriovenous fistulas – abnormal connections between arteries and veins in his head -- were complicated and risky. The doctors in Germany were surprised at Albert’s determination to make a full recovery. Albert says he felt he had an obligation to his family and all the people who had helped him get better.
“I knew that God was with me. I had earned a second chance at life and now I have started to fight for it,” Albert says. “Before I was scared, now I am not…What should I be scared of? Death? I beat it. The only thing I am afraid of is causing my parents pain.”
At the hospital in Heidelberg, Albert tried to put in more hours of physical therapy to help his recovery.