Bay Area doctor returns from Ukraine, calls experience ‘life-changing’
SAN FRANCISCO – A family doctor is back home in San Francisco after traveling to Ukraine to offer help.
He described his experience there as precarious but that he is glad he went.
Dr. Eduardo Dolhun said he met a lot of great people on his trip.
He said there were challenges and things didn’t go as planned.
However, he is already thinking of going back.
After a week in Ukraine, Dolhun arrived at SFO on Tuesday afternoon with fewer bags than he had left.
He went on a mission to the war-torn country to provide medical aid and supplies. .
“Ukraine is on the frontline of democracy and I’m a doctor and a specialist in disaster medicine, so it made perfect sense for me to go there. I couldn’t stay here and do nothing,” said Dolhun, who is half-Ukrainian at her mother’s house. but had never visited the country before. .
He shared a video he took of a gathering of Ukrainians in Poland upon his arrival.
He said he met people there who helped him cross the Ukrainian border and put him in touch with Dr Oksana Andreikiv who works on the front line.
At a military hospital in Lviv, Dolhun gave the doctor medical supplies and surgical tools. He said the hospital where Dr Andreikiv works was badly damaged.
“It’s terrible. Please help us,” Dr Andreikiv said.
Dolhun said he was unable to travel to the frontlines himself to provide medical care as he had planned.
He said there were air raids three times a day and he had to hide underground in case of a bombardment.
I’ve been all over disaster medicine for 12 years. It was the scariest I have ever experienced,” Dolhun said.
On his trip back to the United States, he saw Ukrainians singing their national anthem in Poland, the same people he had met when he arrived.
Among them, a 16-year-old girl who asked him to sell his works in the United States to raise funds to help the Ukrainian forces.
Dolhun described her experience as life changing.
“You have the feeling that you have to do something. Life can no longer go on as usual
Dr Dolhun hoped to return to Ukraine in a few months
He said his trip and supplies were funded by his own money, his nonprofit Doctors Outreach, and donations from his patients here in the Bay Area.
To contact Dr. Dolhun: [email protected]
Amber Lee is a reporter at KTVU. Email Amber at [email protected] or text/leave a message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU or Twitter @AmberKTVU