A picture of Nelson after he suffered his horrific injuries (David Ghahramanyan photo)

Nelson’s Boston Miracle: A Call to Action for a Boy’s Recovery Following the Artsakh Explosion


WATERTOWN — In a heartrending call to action, a GoFundMe campaign was launched on February 11, to support Nelson, a 17-year-old survivor of a catastrophic explosion in Berkadzor, near Stepanakert, amidst the recent aggression and ethnic cleansing by Azerbaijan against the Armenian population of Artsakh. This tragedy, part of one of the most significant humanitarian crises in modern Armenian history, forcibly displaced over 100,000 people, including Nelson and his family.

The explosion on September 25, 2023, claimed the lives of at least 220 people and resulted in over 300 injuries, leaving Nelson as the sole surviving male of his immediate family. Nelson sustained life-threatening injuries and spent two months in a hospital in Yerevan with severe wounds on his hands and face. Through the efforts of volunteer Stepan Chiloyan of Watertown and the Armenian American Medical Association (AAMA), Nelson was able to receive care at Shriners Hospital in Boston, where he continues his recovery.

“Nelson’s story is a stark reminder of the personal toll behind the headlines,” said Chiloyan, who also initiated the GoFundMe campaign. “After the loss of almost his entire family and his own severe injuries, we are calling on the global community to help Nelson and his family rebuild their lives.”

Nelson’s injured hands (David Ghahramanyan photo)

On Jan. 5, 2024, Nelson and his mother arrived at Shriners Hospital in Boston, where he underwent major surgery to reconstruct his hands and face. The campaign seeks to provide financial support for Nelson, his mother, his two sisters, and his aunts as they strive to heal and move forward after being forcibly displaced from their homeland.

“Your contribution embodies the spirit of giving and compassion, offering not just financial support but also a message of hope and solidarity to Nelson and his family during this incredibly difficult time,” Chiloyan added. “Every donation, no matter the size, makes a significant difference.

The dedication and expertise of the care managers, nurses, and doctors at Shriners Hospital have been instrumental in Nelson’s recovery process. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Gennadiy Fuzaylov; Dr. Salpy Akaragian, President and Founder of the Armenian International Medical Fund (AIM Fund); and Dr. Hovig Chilitian, President of the Armenian American Medical Association (AAMA), for their vital roles in bringing Nelson to Shriners Hospital. This effort showcases the power of collaborative care and the commitment to providing the best possible support for those in need.

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The campaign underscores the importance of humanity coming together to uplift those suffering in times of need. To support Nelson and his family, visit the GoFundMe page and donate: https://gofund.me/e9439aab.


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