HUIZEN, Netherlands — John Cena did more than help brighten the day of a Ukrainian teenager with Down syndrome, who was forced to flee his home in Mariupol as Russian troops invaded.
The professional wrestler and actor also helped the teen’s mother keep an unlikely promise she made to help motivate her non-verbal son throughout their treacherous journey to safety in the Netherlands.
Liana Rohozhyna explained to The Wall Street Journal that she kept her son, Misha Rohozhyn, mobilized through the chaos by perpetually feeding the fantasy that the pair were searching for Misha’s favorite wrestler.
The pair found sanctuary in Huizen, Netherlands, in May, but his mother told the Journal that 19-year-old Misha is unable to speak and has remained primarily in his bedroom since their arrival, overwhelmed by the ordeal and growing increasingly angry with her that Cena was nowhere to be found.
That all changed June 4 when Cena, who learned of the role he played in the mother-son duo’s brave escape, flew to Huizen to meet Misha one week ago, The Wrap reported.
“This is something out of this world,” Rohozhyna said through tears as Cena stepped out of his vehicle, wearing his World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. garb, the Journal reported.
“When I read about Misha’s story, it reached out to me — not just Misha’s story, but the story of Misha’s mom as well,” Cena told The Wrap, adding, “Having three days off from work, right when I read this story and being an hour away by air, it turned immediately into ‘We’re going.’”
A three-minute video clip of the serendipitous meeting shows plenty of embraces, tons of WWE swag, some bicep comparisons and a recreation in stereo of Cena’s “You Can’t See Me” catchphrase and move, the outlet reported.
“This was a wonderful adventure, in which I got to meet a wonderful new friend,” Cena told Misha via a translator. “Thank you for giving me strength.”
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