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I am an American doctor who is currently treating desperate innocent Ukrainians; women, children and the elderly; gone.
I helped organize a medical mission in Ukraine / Poland because it was a service from God. I enjoy being a doctor and caring for others, and I feel I need to help those in need.
I was sponsored by the Children’s Medical Foundation.CharmIt is a foundation that serves underprivileged children – joined because there are more than 1 million refugee children from Ukraine. I am also a member of the Disaster Assistance Response Team “DART” with the Samaritan Purse.
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Medical professionals here in Lviv need the help of the Biden administration and we need it now. Lack of tools and resources is pardoning murder and contributing to death and destruction of many homes, affecting millions of lives.
The only thing I care about and manage is gut wrenching, and worse, avoidable. An 84-year-old frail patient fled his home in Kherson after being bombed and destroyed by Russian artillery.
It is very sad to see innocent souls upside down.
He told me he hadn’t eaten for four days, he was upset. He had chest pains, and we struggled to find a defibrillator and an EKG machine. The EKG machine dates back to the 1970’s. He died.
We now need defibrillators and EKGs.
An orthopedic surgeon operating on wounded Ukrainian soldiers in Kiev advised me that he was in dire need of surgical hardware. We don’t have what he needs.
We need surgical tools now.
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Another patient was suffering from a viral illness that was contracted in a potentially crowded train. The patient had severe vomiting and diarrhea – potentially fatal in a war zone resulting in severe dehydration. I managed to find a few bottles of Zofran, a simple medicine that cures these symptoms. But we didn’t have enough.
We need basic medicine now.
We also need protection; physical protection.
Not only bombs are falling from the sky in Ukraine. Medical facilities, hospitals, schools and medical professionals are under attack.
The Russians will attack you or kill you and steal your belongings.
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I was personally harassed and almost attacked by a group of Russian terrorists or spies. My heart was pounding. I was more frightened than the bearded Russian man on my face when the bomb dropped 8 miles from our camp in Lviv.
A retired U.S. Marine literally stepped in to protect me. The Russians disappeared with some of our medical supplies.
I was angry at first, but I wondered if they were taking young naive Russian soldiers for treatment – we are all human beings and any loss of life is tragic.
I can only guess: Russian President Vladimir Putin is not only attacking medical facilities in war zones from the sky and with artillery, but he has sent thugs to harass and intimidate foreign medical professionals like me. There are those who are trying hard. Circumstances, to help. And he is interfering with our medical care and making it as difficult as possible. I have no words to describe how despicable it is.
Emotional and psychological trauma is taking a toll on everyone, especially those fleeing active war zones. In addition to severe foul smelling wounds, fractures, some of my patients had fatal blood pressure 220/120 but then it became a common major symptom.
I am helping Ukrainian refugees in Poland, and it is amazing to see this crisis first.
Another attempted suicide, even after fleeing an active battlefield. Her self-inflicted wounds were being treated. He is not alone.
There is an end to suffering.
I asked one of my patients who ran away from Sami, what was the hardest part of your journey? He told me that his train was being attacked and shot while trying to escape!
One morning while working in a mobile medical tent at the Lviv railway station, the conductor rushed over to me, grabbed my hand and led me across the train tracks to take care of a fallen woman.
Despite the lack of supplies, despite the lack of security and despite terrorism, there are moments of hope, but few.
I treated an 8-year-old girl with a complex wound in her fingers when she had to flee from Russian troops. It was swollen, infected, and crushed at great risk of damage, but we saved it. Similarly, a malnourished child, in distress, is now receiving the care he needs.
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My partner and I are in danger. We are ready to take this risk. But we need equipment. We need medicine. We need surgical instruments. And we need some precautions so that we can do our job. We need the Biden administration to act like the retired U.S. Marine who stepped in to protect me, and to do more than talk about aid – we need the Biden administration to deliver. ۔
Alarm sirens sounded while working in Lviv. That was the reality, millions of thoughts went through my head. I was caring for patients at the train station – we had to take shelter under the tunnel. It was cold, dark and terrible. How long will we be there? Security told us that these sirens would eventually mean a real strike.
When a man was serving orange soup underground, I thought, how safe is it to live underground there? Will we be stuck in the rubble? Will I see my family again?
Days later, as I lay in my sleeping bag, I heard the siren sound again. Sadly, this time the ruthless Russians attacked Levy a few miles away.
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I could clear a big gray cloud of smoke. After clearance, we turned the bank over to the mobile medical unit where I was working in a tent under the steps of the railway station where the refugees were coming.
We wanted to help patients who we knew were on the train for several days at a time and who would be sick or injured who needed medicine or needed wound care.
It is very sad to see innocent souls upside down.
Putin was bombing children’s hospitals and maternity wards – meaning nothing was too much for him. He attacks without caring for human life. There is no punishment that is sufficient to compensate for the irreparable loss.
Svetlana, a refugee who recently fled Kyiv, recited poetry to her colleagues and I was working here in Lviv with tears streaming down her face. She explained her situation: she was relieved to be alive but was devastated that her country was falling apart.
The United States is the most capable country. We must do our utmost to help Ukraine, alleviate the suffering and save lives.
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The United States is a country of compassion. It has the generosity of spirit and the ability to provide what Ukraine needs.
Now is the time to fulfill the promise of American sympathy.
Click here to read more from the doctor. Janet Neshiwat