UMaine grad returns from providing medical aid to Ukraine

Published: May. 4, 2022 at 4:37 PM EDT
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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - Many have taken up efforts to help Ukraine as they continue the fight against invading Russian troops.

TV5 spoke with a University of Maine graduate who just returned from more than a month of providing medical aid.

“Inside of Ukraine right now, it feels a little bit like World War III.”

University of Maine graduate and current third year medical student at Vermont, Ryan Warner, recently returned from five weeks working with medical aid organization, Med Global.

“About half of which on the Polish border in Poland and half of which in Ukraine,” said Warner.

He likens what’s happening in Ukraine right now to American efforts during World War II.

“Everybody was part of the war effort whether they were in Europe or in the South Pacific fighting, or whether they were in the United States,” he explained. “And, inside Ukraine feels exactly like that. I mean, we were running into, you know, entire families essentially, like groups of women whose husbands were fighting, and they had had set up what was acting as de facto NGOs transporting everything from military, relatively minor military equipment, like body armor to medications for the front lines for the soldiers. It was an inspiring effort.”

While those fleeing the country have gotten a lot of attention, Warner says an under reported on group are those without the means to get over the border.

“Hundreds of people packed into essentially gym sized rooms on mattresses on the floor, shoulder to shoulder, including pets,” Warner said. “There were, I think, one washing machine and two dryers in this entire veterinary school with a handful of toilets. And, that hasn’t been covered a lot, to see the incredible amount of internal displacement within the country.”

He adds the help being sent to the people of Ukraine is greatly appreciated, but more is needed.

“Flag outside of your house, you know, let people know that you support the effort, that you support what’s going on, you support Ukraine. Try to send supplies forward, and the supplies they’re really looking for, I mean, are the obvious stuff that comes to mind would be trauma supplies such as tourniquets, but the other stuff we found is just regular basic medical supplies is what they need.”

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