Houstonians bring help and hope to Ukrainian doctors on the front lines

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VINNYTSIA, Ukraine – A doctor in Ukraine has felt the love of Houstonians determined to help bring needed medical supplies to help frontline workers during the war.

A Shenandoah-based Memorial Hermann doctor and a local Houston nonprofit have made lasting connections to make this flow of aid from Houston possible.

KPRC 2 first introduced you to endocrinologist Dr. Kateryna Komarovskiy in mid-March when the Ukraine native was amplifying the voices of the medical community in Ukraine.

After all, she grew up there, graduated from medical school in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, about 150 miles from kyiv, her hometown.

She says she has been in contact with many of her former classmates who are still there, taking notes on much-needed medical supplies.

His colleague, Dr. Kostyantyn Dumchev, went to school with Komarovskiy and works to organize supplies for doctors and many local hospitals in Ukraine.

A local nonprofit relief organization saw Komarovskiy’s story and decided that its volunteers, already in Europe, could help Dumchev.

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“All Ukrainian hospitals are now connected to the large Ukrainian military hospital which accepts many wounded,” Dumchev said.

Dumchev, who lived in kyiv for more than 15 years, had to leave the city and travel to his hometown of Vinnytsia where he went to school with Komarovskiy.

“I’ve known Kateryna since 1995, our freshman year in medical school,” Dumchev said.

There he found refuge with a friend among relatives and friends, but he continues his efforts to organize war relief. He says the war is felt there too.

“They are firing missiles all over Ukraine. Vinnytsia had been hit several times,” Dumchev said. “The airfield was bombed. The destroyed airport, the television tower. The city center was hit by missiles.

Despite the fear, this public health leader is a hero.

He organized efforts to send trucks or shipments of needed medical supplies across the Polish border to hospitals and doctors in Ukraine. It turns out that Komarovskiy’s story touched the hearts of the leaders of Crowdsource Rescue, a nonprofit disaster relief organization founded during Hurricane Harvey to help rescue people from their flooded homes.

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Next, the nonprofit focused on feeding people and helping people with mobility issues during COVID.

Now they have moved on to the next big need, Ukraine.

“I directly link providers to hospitals,” Dumchev said. “Thanks to her, I know a group of Americans who are now in Ukraine.”

With Komarovskiy’s guidance and connection as well as Dumchev’s search by the Crowdsource Rescue team, the three parties connected, creating a masterful partnership to bring help from Houston to local Ukrainian doctors.

“We thought, wait a minute… We can help you!” We know how to operate in extreme environments,” said Matthew Marchetti, executive director of Crowdsource Rescue.

Through hard work and troubleshooting, Crowdsource Rescue volunteers found Dumchev in Ukraine and welcomed him with a truckload of supplies.

“It’s an incredible help,” smiles Dumchev. “Raise our spirits.”

But they need more, he said, especially first aid. They hope to get more medical equipment such as negative wound treatment devices, which are used after surgery to speed up the healing process.

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Crowdsource Rescue said it wants Ukrainians to know “the world has their back” and will continue to send supplies there from the Houston area.

If you want to help, visit CrowsourceRescue.org.

Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston – All Rights Reserved.

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