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 drugs and a great deal of vital data.

Docs Michael Duersen and Heath Cotter taught younger Ukrainian fighters find out how to bandage wounds. Deal with sick refugees. One among 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 Publish 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 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 need to meet with as many individuals as doable to ask you to assist our service,” he stated calmly, in his finest 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, 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 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 stated.

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 jap fringes. Thus far, he has performed about 60-65 clinics, every serving about 30 individuals per day.

He stated provides are all the time dwindling. As Russia modified ways from a failed blitzkrieg strategy to a brutal warfare of attrition, hospitals and faculties – 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 most important factories that produce medicines for Ukraine,” Dr. Serhi stated. “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 listing 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 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 via 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 go away for Colorado. He prefers to remain and assist as many individuals as doable. At this second, he additionally remembered the assistance he acquired from overseas docs, together with Kotter and Duersen.

“These actually courageous guys,” he stated, “usher in massive packing 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 bunch of refugees lately arrived from the war-torn metropolis of Mariupol, one of the crucial populated cities Cities had been badly destroyed throughout the whole warfare up to now.

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.

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 referred to as up as a army 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 thing 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 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 america. 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 stated that regardless of continued assist from america, there’s nonetheless extra to return.

He instructed Congress: “Your assist is essential, not solely to face via such a combat, however to achieve the tipping level to win the battlefield.” “We have now artillery, sure. We have now it. Is that sufficient? Fairly frankly, probably not.”

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 satisfy as many individuals as doable,” he repeated. “As a result of on Tuesday I’ll return to Ukraine, and on Wednesday we’ll go to Mykolaiv. It’s a metropolis on the Black Sea, they usually bomb it on daily basis. We promise the individuals that we are going to be there and serve them for 3 days.”

“I am unable to miss this journey.”

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