A Ukrainian doctor visits Rifle’s Grand River Health, looking for medical supplies and medicine for the front line

Michael Duhrsen, of Grand River Well being Hospital, left, and Ukrainian Dr. Serhiy Serdynyuk unload medical provides in Ukraine in March 2022.
Courtesy / Annick Prut

Two medical doctors from Grand River Well being and their households went to Ukraine lower than two months after the invasion of Russia. They introduced with them medical provides, $4,000 value of drugs and a great deal of essential information.

Docs Michael Duersen and Heath Cotter taught younger Ukrainian fighters methods to bandage wounds. Deal with sick refugees. Certainly one of their daughters performed the harp for the orphans affected by the struggle.

Throughout this humanitarian mission, two Rifle medical doctors labored alongside two Ukrainian medical doctors: husband and spouse Serhii and Yuliia Serdeniuk.

Shortly after 6pm EET on Thursday, Dr Serhiy skilled intermittent blackouts as he spoke to the Submit Unbiased by way of WhatsApp, a free worldwide calling service.

A disfigured man’s voice is muffled on the intercom at Angelia Clinic, A personal clinic nestled amongst a fleet of long-haul residences About two miles east of the Dnipro River in Kyiv, whereas Dr. Serhiy defined why he had briefly left Ukraine for Rifle, Colorado.

“I wish to meet with as many individuals as potential to ask you to assist our service,” he stated calmly, in his finest English. “Simply yesterday our dental medical gear broke and we want $10,000 to exchange that.”

Annick Pruitt, director of neighborhood relations for Grand River Well being, stated Dr. Serhi, who has labored carefully with Kotter and Duersen, is scheduled to seem at Grand River Well being’s Colorado River Chamber from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Grand River Well being is positioned at 501 Airport Highway.

“He’ll present an replace on the scenario there in addition to an replace on the brand new clinic they’ve constructed,” she stated.

Serhiy is the director of the cell clinic unit. Go to these rolling medical bastions and serve the entrance traces of the struggle, now totally on the nation’s japanese fringes. Up to now, he has carried out about 60-65 clinics, every serving about 30 folks per day.

He stated provides are all the time dwindling. As Russia modified techniques from a failed blitzkrieg strategy to a brutal struggle of attrition, hospitals and faculties – even locations the place medicines are made – proceed to be focused by long-range missiles.

“Due to the struggle, the Russians bombed two of the most important factories that produce medicines for Ukraine,” Dr. Serhi stated. “In the mean time, even when we’ve the cash, we can not purchase it in Ukraine, as a result of it isn’t produced for Ukraine.”

Dr. Serhiy Serdenyuk, left, throughout a coaching course in Ukraine in March 2022.
Presenter / Annick Pruitt

Dr. Serhiy grew to become livelier as he continued to checklist different medical wants. This contains something and every part, from $20,000 for a brand new ultrasound machine and a more recent battery, to psychiatric drugs as a result of nervousness amongst Ukrainians is now rampant. With the ability nonetheless out, Dr. Serhii works with a flashlight, typically even by candlelight.

Simply this week, Dr. Serhiy was taking a drive by way of Ukraine to Warsaw, Poland. From there, flight to Munich, Germany. Then a flight from Munich to Frankfurt, Germany. From Frankfurt, Denver Worldwide Airport. From Doha Worldwide Airport, boarding alongside Freeway 70 to Venice.

Then Dr. Serhiy grew to become apprehensive. He stated he did not wish to depart for Colorado. He prefers to remain and assist as many individuals as potential. At this second, he additionally remembered the assistance he acquired from overseas medical doctors, together with Kotter and Duersen.

“These actually courageous guys,” he stated, “usher in large containers stuffed with medical provides.”

Docs Kotter and Dohersen as soon as joined Dr. Serhiy on a go to to a Ukrainian village close to the Romanian border. A gaggle of refugees just lately arrived from the war-torn metropolis of Mariupol, one of the populated cities Cities had been badly destroyed throughout the complete struggle thus far.

Dr. Serhi stated that one of many refugees, a 13-year-old boy, was bleeding profusely from his nostril for half an hour straight. With Dr. Cotter’s assist, the bleeding stopped inside three minutes, and the boy, who weighed about 110 kilos, survived.

“Dr. Heath stopped the bleeding by himself,” stated Dr. Serhiy. “It was a miracle that he was there at that second, when he was most wanted.

Once we stopped the bleeding, (the boy) began vomiting blood. We collected half a liter of blood that he had swallowed earlier than.”

The previous 11 months have clearly not been regular for Dr. Serhiy, whose first style of struggle got here when he was referred to as up as a navy medic in 2015. When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Dr. Serhiy moved his household from Kyiv to Germany, they usually have been again ever since. now.

He stated he had meals, a roof over his head, and heat. He joked humorous that every part in Kyiv is “not so unhealthy.” However he additionally misplaced lots, together with associates.

“I misplaced,” he stated in a tone. Then he sighed. “My good friend, he was a colonel within the Ukrainian military… Sure, I misplaced lots of people.”

December 21, 2022 marked a historic day within the historical past of the USA. It was the primary time, since British Prime Minister Winston Churchill did so in 1941, {that a} overseas nationwide chief had come to Washington to deal with Congress. In his speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that regardless of continued assist from the USA, there may be nonetheless extra to come back.

He informed Congress: “Your assist is essential, not solely to face by way of such a battle, however to succeed in the tipping level to win the battlefield.” “We now have artillery, sure. We now have it. Is that sufficient? Fairly frankly, probably not.”

In a really miniature model, Dr. Serhie’s go to to the Rifle is full of the identical intentions.

“I solely have one week to fulfill as many individuals as potential,” he repeated. “As a result of on Tuesday I’ll return to Ukraine, and on Wednesday we are going to go to Mykolaiv. It’s a metropolis on the Black Sea, they usually bomb it every single day. We promise the folks that we are going to be there and serve them for 3 days.”

“I am unable to miss this journey.”

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