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 medication and a great deal of vital data.

Medical doctors Michael Duersen and Heath Cotter taught younger Ukrainian fighters the way to bandage wounds. Deal with sick refugees. One in every of their daughters performed the harp for the orphans affected by the conflict.

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 Impartial by way of WhatsApp, a free worldwide calling service.

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



“I need to meet with as many individuals as potential to ask you to help our service,” he stated 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 neighborhood relations for Grand River Well being, stated Dr. Serhi, who has labored carefully with Kotter and Duersen, is scheduled to seem in Grand River Well being’s Colorado River Room from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Grand River Well being is positioned at 501 Airport Street.

“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 stated.

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

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

“Due to the conflict, the Russians bombed two of the most important factories that produce medicines for Ukraine,” Dr. Serhi stated. “In the meanwhile, even when we have now 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 checklist different medical wants. This contains something and every part, from $20,000 for a brand new ultrasound machine and a more moderen 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, generally 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 stated he did not need to depart for Colorado. He prefers to remain and assist as many individuals as potential. At this second, he additionally remembered the assistance he obtained from overseas medical doctors, together with Kotter and Duersen.

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

Medical doctors 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 lately arrived from the war-torn metropolis of Mariupol, one of the crucial populated cities Cities have been badly destroyed throughout the complete conflict to date.

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 conflict 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 rather a lot, together with mates.

“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 help from the USA, there’s nonetheless extra to come back.

He instructed Congress: “Your help is essential, not solely to face by means of such a battle, however to succeed in the tipping level to win the battlefield.” “We’ve got artillery, sure. We’ve got it. Is that sufficient? Fairly frankly, not likely.”

In a really miniature model, Dr. Serhie’s go to to the Rifle is stuffed with 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 on daily basis. We promise the individuals that we’ll be there and serve them for 3 days.”

“I am unable to miss this journey.”

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