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 docs 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 medication and a great deal of essential information.

Docs Michael Duersen and Heath Cotter taught younger Ukrainian fighters how one can bandage wounds. Deal with sick refugees. One in all their daughters performed the harp for the orphans affected by the warfare.

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



Shortly after 6pm EET on Thursday, Dr Serhiy skilled intermittent blackouts as he spoke to the Submit Impartial through 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 quickly left Ukraine for Rifle, Colorado.



“I need to meet with as many individuals as attainable to ask you to assist our service,” he mentioned calmly, in his greatest English. “Simply yesterday our dental medical gear broke and we’d like $10,000 to interchange that.”

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

“He’ll present an replace on the state of affairs there in addition to an replace on the brand new clinic they’ve constructed,” she mentioned.

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

He mentioned provides are all the time dwindling. As Russia modified ways from a failed blitzkrieg method to a brutal warfare of attrition, hospitals and colleges – even locations the place medicines are made – proceed to be focused by long-range missiles.

“Due to the warfare, the Russians bombed two of the largest factories that produce medicines for Ukraine,” Dr. Serhi mentioned. “For the time being, even when we’ve got the cash, we can’t purchase it in Ukraine, as a result of it’s not produced for Ukraine.”

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

Dr. Serhiy turned livelier as he continued to record different medical wants. This consists of something and every thing, from $20,000 for a brand new ultrasound machine and a more moderen battery, to psychiatric drugs as a result of anxiousness 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 means 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 turned apprehensive. He mentioned he did not need to go away for Colorado. He prefers to remain and assist as many individuals as attainable. At this second, he additionally remembered the assistance he obtained from overseas docs, together with Kotter and Duersen.

“These actually courageous guys,” he mentioned, “usher in massive packing containers filled 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 bunch of refugees just lately arrived from the war-torn metropolis of Mariupol, probably the most populated cities Cities had been badly destroyed throughout all the warfare thus far.

Dr. Serhi mentioned 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,” mentioned Dr. Serhiy. “It was a miracle that he was there at that second, when he was most wanted.

After 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 warfare got here when he was known 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, and so they have been again ever since. now.

He mentioned he had meals, a roof over his head, and heat. He joked humorous that every thing in Kyiv is “not so dangerous.” However he additionally misplaced so much, together with pals.

“I misplaced,” he mentioned in a tone. Then he sighed. “My pal, 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 US. 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 handle Congress. In his speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky mentioned that regardless of continued assist from the US, there’s nonetheless extra to come back.

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

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

“I solely have one week to fulfill as many individuals as attainable,” 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, and so they 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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