Link copied

“It cannot be described in words. I still can’t stand watching children’s hearts stop on the operating table”

“It cannot be described in words. I still can’t stand watching children’s hearts stop on the operating table”

Liudmyla Teriava has been working as a nurse for 38 years. Eight of them, her hospital in Kurakhiv is in the front-line zone of Donetsk region. “During this time I have seen a lot,” she says. “But when you have a six-year-old girl lying on the operating table and asking: “Am I not going to die?” and then her heart stops…”

We publish the story of Liudmyla Teriaeva told within the initiative of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine to praise the work of Ukrainian doctors.

Since 2015 Liudmyla has been treating Ukrainians wounded amid war. Every day she has been driving 25 kilometers to the nearby city hospital. She said that there had been significantly fewer wounded in recent years, so everyone thought: a little more — and the war is about to end.

But on February 24, 2022, life turned upside down again: dozens of wounded civilians were again brought to the hospital. Against the background of a full-scale war, some doctors were evacuated, and some quit. Only the desperate and brave workers remained in their positions, and they are still working today. But in reality, there are not enough hands: instead of six nurses, only three are working. So hospital staff started working 24-hour shifts — in the operating room and the department.

“Once a boy was brought to us. He took breakfast to an elderly neighbor, and as soon as he took a few steps away from her, a shell flew into the house,” recalls Liudmyla. “The grandmother died, and the boy, all in splinters, was brought to us. Two fingers on his right hand were torn off. When the volunteers brought him some sweets, he looked at this mountain of candies and said: “I don’t need anything. I only wish I had fingers.”

Liudmyla says that no matter how many years she works — even on the front line — every time she worries about everyone — as about herself, as about her own child. “I feel sorrow for everyone. None of us understand why innocent children suffer. You need to have nerves of steel for this kind of work.”


Share this post