May 21, 2024

Health Back

Professional Health Makers

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

Ukrainian doctor visits Rifle’s Grand River Health, seeking medical supplies and medicine for front line
Grand River Health’s Dr. Michael Duehrssen, left, and Ukrainian Dr. Serhii Serdeniuk unload health-related provides in Ukraine in March 2022.
Courtesy/Annick Pruett

Two Grand River Wellness medical professionals and their family members went to Ukraine fewer than two months following Russia invaded. They brought with them professional medical supplies, $4,000 truly worth of prescribed drugs and hundreds of important expertise.

Health professionals Michael Duehrssen and Heath Cotter taught young Ukrainian combatants how to subject costume wounds. They dealt with unwell refugees. A single of their daughters performed harp for war-pressured orphans.

In the course of this humanitarian mission, the two Rifle medical doctors labored facet-by-side with two Ukrainian medical practitioners: partner and spouse Serhii and Yuliia Serdeniuk. 



Shortly right after 6 p.m. Japanese European Time on Thursday, Dr. Serhii battled intermittent blackouts as he spoke with the Publish Impartial around WhatsApp, a free, international communication services.

A distorted man’s voice muffled over an intercom at Angelia Clinic, a personal apply positioned amongst a fleet of tall, block flats about two miles east of the Dnipro River in Kyiv, even though Dr. Serhii rationalized why he’s going to quickly leave Ukraine for, of all locations, Rifle, Colorado.



“I want to meet up with as (quite a few) individuals as possible to question you to aid our service,” he explained, calmly, in his most effective English. “Just yesterday our professional medical devices for dentistry broke and we need to have $10,000 to exchange that.”

Grand River Overall health Community Relations Director Annick Pruett said Dr. Serhii, who worked so closely with Cotter and Duehrssen, is slated to seem at Grand River Health’s Colorado River Room from 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday. Grand River Health is positioned at 501 Airport Highway.

“He will be offering an update on the situation there as properly as an update on the new clinic they have built,” she claimed.

Serhii is director of a cell clinic device. These rolling healthcare bastions take a look at and serve the war’s entrance traces, correct now predominantly on the japanese edges of the region. He has so considerably done about 60-65 clinics, each individual a single serving about 30 folks day-to-day.

Provides are constantly dwindling, he said. Since Russia has changed its ways from a failed blitzkrieg technique to a brutal war of attrition, hospitals, educational facilities — even sites where by they make prescription drugs — carry on to be targeted by extended-vary missiles.

“Because of war, Russians bombed two of the greatest factories who manufactured treatment for Ukraine,” Dr. Serhii claimed. “Right now, even if we have funds, we simply cannot obtain it in Ukraine, simply because it is not becoming manufactured for Ukraine.”

Dr. Serhii Serdeniuk, remaining, throughout a teaching session in Ukraine in March 2022.
Submitted/Annick Pruett

Dr. Serhii grew extra animated as he ongoing to listing off more health care requires. This incorporates nearly anything and every little thing, from $20,000 for a new ultrasound equipment and a newer battery, to psychological remedies for the reason that anxiousness among Ukrainians is now common. As blackouts go on, Dr. Serhii functions with a flashlight, from time to time even just candlelight. 

Just this 7 days, Dr. Serhii would consider a automobile trip across Ukraine to Warsaw, Poland. From there, a flight to Munich, Germany. Then a flight from Munich to Frankfurt, Germany. From Frankfurt, Denver Worldwide Airport. From DIA, the ascent along Interstate 70 to Rifle.

Dr. Serhii then turned apprehensive. He doesn’t want to leave for Colorado, he mentioned. He would instead stay and assistance as quite a few people today as he can. At this minute he also remembered the enable he acquired from international physicians, like Cotter and Duehrssen.

“These seriously brave men, they brought big bins full of professional medical provides,” he said.

Doctors Cotter and Duehrssen when joined Dr. Serhii on a pay a visit to to a Ukrainian village close to the Romanian border. A contingent of refugees had not long ago arrived from the war-torn city of Mariupol, one of the most closely devastated cities of the entire war so considerably. 

Dr. Serhii stated 1 of the refugees, a 13-year-outdated boy, experienced been bleeding closely from his nose for 50 {33c86113bcc32821f63c6372852a0f501e07fff55ce3ce61b15b246c5f8c531c} an hour straight. With Dr. Cotter’s aid, the bleeding stopped in a few minutes, and the boy of about 110 pounds survived.

“Dr. Heath individually stopped the bleeding,” Dr. Serhii claimed. “That was a wonder that he’d been there just in that minute, when he was necessary typically.

“When we stopped the bleeding, (the boy) started to vomit blood. We gathered fifty percent a liter of blood he swallowed before.”

The past 11 months have certainly been just about anything but usual for Dr. Serhii, whose first taste of war came when he was called up as a army health practitioner in 2015. When Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, Dr. Serhii moved his family from Kyiv to Germany, and they have considering the fact that appear again.

He has foodstuff, a roof above his head and heat, he reported. Almost everything in Kyiv is “not so bad,” he joked facetiously. But he’s also misplaced significantly, such as friends.

“I lost,” he mentioned poignantly. He then sighed. “My buddy, he was a colonel in the Ukrainian Army… Yeah, I misplaced a good deal of individuals.”

Dec. 21, 2022 marked a historical day in United States’ historical past. It was the first time, given that British Primary Minister Winston Churchill did it in 1941, that a foreign nationwide leader arrived to Washington to address Congress. In his speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy explained that, irrespective of ongoing help from the U.S., there still demands to be a lot more.

“Your assistance is critical, not just to stand in these types of a struggle, but to get to the turning position to gain on the battlefield,” he informed Congress. “We have artillery, of course. We have it. Is it plenty of? Really actually, not genuinely.”

On a a lot scaled down variation, Dr. Serhii’s pay a visit to to Rifle is chock complete of the very same intentions.

“I have just a single 7 days to meet up with as many people today as attainable,” he reiterated. “Because I’ll be back again Tuesday to Ukraine, and Wednesday we’ll go to Mykolaiv. It is a town on the shore of the Black Sea, and they bomb it every single working day. We assure the individuals we will be there and serve them for a few days.”

“I can’t skip this excursion.”

Submit Unbiased western Garfield County reporter and Assistant Editor Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or [email protected]