By the call of the heart: how a trio from abroad saves Ukrainian wounded
Alexis Cholas, a trauma surgeon from Greece who goes by the cover name Korinf, picks up a charger with one hand and smiles: "Battery is dead; I just got the last wounded man on a gurney." He is talking about his artificial arm, which had run out of power.
The prosthetists had to speed up the fitting process to be in time for the evacuation bus to leave. He didn't consider skipping the evacuation of the wounded soldiers.
"The loss of a hand is a cross on surgery, but not a cross on medicine," says Korinf.
At 26 years old, he has experience working in pediatric intensive care, adult intensive care, emergency room, and trauma care center.
He lost his hand in an accident when the well-known "Kraken" evacuation bus, the predecessor of the current "Avstriyka", crashed. The rotation for all the crew members ended prematurely and tragically – Natalia Frauscher, known as Avstriyka, after whom the new bus is named, died.
Korinf unpacked the medicines, set up the IV system and a saturation measurement device, then removed the bandage from his bandaged head - all with both hands.
Korinf isn't the only one who came from abroad to save the wounded in frontline cities. Two other people on the crew came from Germany and Austria.
Mykhailo Volyanyuk, a 30-year-old anesthesiologist with the cover name Volya, is originally from the Zhytomyr region but has been working in the German hospital for five years. In November, he took a vacation at his own expense, crossed the border at midnight, and was in Pavlohrad the next day, from where he went to Bakhmut.
He said: "I came because I wanted to be where I was needed."
Currently, Volya is also a member of the Avstriyka's crew. He puts the wounded in an artificial coma, if necessary, while the hospital on wheels covers the distance from the frontline to Mechnikov Hospital in Dnipro.
Female paramedic Tyuvik throws the bloody medical diaper under the wounded man on the stretcher into the trash. 24-year-old Maria Danchyna came to Kyiv from Carinthia, south of Austria, in May.
She was getting her second degree there. She worked as an interpreter for the Austrian police, thereby facilitating communication with Ukrainian immigrants. The decision to become a paramedic was not emotional – she made it purposefully.
Maria is a reserve officer, has been a platoon commander, and the best student in the military department at Shevchenko University. Prior to the Avstriyka's crew, Tyuvik had already completed three rotations in Kherson, Donetsk, and Zaporizhzhia.
1 crew + 1 bus + 1 trip = 10 wounded. On the second day, Avstriyka transported eleven wounded, six of whom were seriously injured and all on IV. The medics thanked each of them for their act of bravery, and the crew continued on to save the lives of the wounded. They do not stop for a minute, so we continue to help them. #Hospitallers #Paramedics #UkraineParamedics #HospitallersUkraine #HospitallersUK #HelpHospitallers #Ukraine #SupportUkraine #HelpUkraine #StandWithUkraine #HelpUkraineNow