From the Horse’s Mouth

 

Back in the summer, I had a patient come into our Urgent Care who made a special impression on me. We provide care for the Maersk container ships that come to Wilmington. The patient was a young woman of 19 or 20 named Iryna. From that and her last name, I was pretty sure she was Ukrainian. I went in and introduced myself and started speaking to her in my somewhat halting Ukrainian. She was so relieved to have a physician she could understand. She told me she had a sore throat that had been treated several times with antibiotics by the ship’s medical staff without success. On exam, it looked a little raw, and we checked her for strep and mononucleosis. Both were negative. I suggested one more course of antibiotics, and some prednisone this time. If not relieved I suggested she see an ENT physician.

It became plain to me that she was very hesitant to get back on the boat, which was about to head out for Bremen, Germany, and the crossing was going to take several weeks. I asked her if she wanted off the boat. We can do that, by stating the patients are not fit to sail, and can specify they need to be flown home. I was loath to do that because I knew the container lines hated that, and it could very well cost her the job. A very good paying job for a young Ukrainian woman. She persisted and I gave in.

She asked for some contact information which I gave her, as I was curious how it would turn out. She took her Rx and her paperwork, thanked me, and headed out. Several months later I heard from her on Facebook, and she was asking me what to do about the bill she had received for service. This was clearly a mistake as they should have billed her company, and I told her not to worry about it. I contacted our boss and billing and they promised me they would take care of it. A few weeks later she contacted me again telling me the issue was resolved and thanking me again.

Fast forward to this weekend. Looking through Facebook Messenger I saw her contact and on a whim, I sent her a message telling her I was praying for Ukraine and hoping she was safe. Almost immediately I got a response. She sent me a voice message.

“Thank you. Thank you for remembering me and our nation, and the fact you support and remember the country of your roots. I wanted to tell you I am in Ukraine in the South near Kherson. Our city is currently under the occupation of the Russian invaders. We are cutoff from any supplies or help. The city is running out of supplies and medicine. But we are holding on. The Russians are trying to take Mikolaiv, but we are holding out for now. Again thank you for your concern.”

The tone of her voice broke my heart.

Damn Putin to hell.

And damn anyone who thinks this is some kind of a “distraction.”

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  1. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    Wow. 

    Kozak, you are a good friend and a good doctor. 

    Prayers for Iryna. 

     

    • #1
  2. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Kozak: The tone of her voice broke my heart.

    My heart breaks too. And I weep.

    • #2
  3. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Maersk has stopped shipping goods into or out of Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine.

    Thank you for your compassion, and introducing us to Iryna.

    Lord God,
    no one is a stranger to you
    and no one is ever far from your loving care.
    In your kindness, watch over refugees and victims of war,
    those separated from their loved ones,
    young people who are lost,
    and those who have left home or who have run away from home.
    Bring them back safely to the place where they long to be
    and help us always to show your kindness to strangers
    and to all in need.
    Grant this through Christ our Lord.
    Amen.

     

    • #3
  4. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Wow.

    Kozak, you are a good friend and a good doctor.

    Prayers for Iryna.

     

    For her and all of Ukraine.

    • #4
  5. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    This is very sad.  It reminds me of Vicksburg.

    • #5
  6. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    This is very sad. It reminds me of Vicksburg.

    Just curious, how does this remind you of Vicksburg? Do you mean that the Russians are as vicious and heartless as the U.S. Army under Grant in the Civil War? I don’t get the connection. When Pemberton/Johnson finally surrendered the fortifications blocking traffic on the Mississippi, the Confederates and the town’s citizens were treated graciously and fed by the Union army.

    • #6
  7. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Bless you Kozak.  And prayers for your patient and all of Ukraine.

    • #7
  8. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    This is very sad. It reminds me of Vicksburg.

    Just curious, how does this remind you of Vicksburg? Do you mean that the Russians are as vicious and heartless as the U.S. Army under Grant in the Civil War? I don’t get the connection. When Pemberton/Johnson finally surrendered the fortifications blocking traffic on the Mississippi, the Confederates and the town’s citizens were treated graciously and fed by the Union army.

    That reminded me of a very potent episode of The Rifleman.

    • #8
  9. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Most people can only imagine, if really even that, the relief someone must feel if they’re in a foreign land, with some kind of problem – perhaps especially a medical problem – and someone speaks to them in a familiar language.  Especially their doctor.

    • #9
  10. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Kozak:

    The tone of her voice broke my heart.

    Damn Putin to hell.

    And damn anyone who thinks this is some kind of a “distraction.”

    I pray she makes it through this alive . . .

    • #10
  11. The Cloaked Gaijin Member
    The Cloaked Gaijin
    @TheCloakedGaijin

    I just happen to follow a few people in Kherson on instagram.  Some have suddenly become very active on instagram since the attack and occupation posting pro-Ukraine videos even though Internet connections have been terrible.

    From what I see on twitter and instagram, the local citizens are not standing for the occupation.  They refused to take the food offered by the Russians.  If you want to see what has been going on, there are videos on twitter and probably youtube of large gatherings of people in Kherson chanting and waving Ukrainian flags in the streets.  I think I even saw one person throw his body to the ground right in front of the wheel of a Russian truck or SUV to prevent it from moving forward!

    • #11
  12. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Most people can only imagine, if really even that, the relief someone must feel if they’re in a foreign land, with some kind of problem – perhaps especially a medical problem – and someone speaks to them in a familiar language. Especially their doctor.

    Yeah.

    Growing up my parents made us learn Ukrainian.  Went to Ukrainian school on Saturdays when my buddies watched cartoons and played ball.  “Someday you will thank us.”  And I thought, nope, not gonna happen.

    Then the Wall came down, and the Soviet Union vaporized.  And in Sacramento we started getting Ukrainian immigrants coming to the ER at Kaiser. I’d walk past the room and hear Ukrainian.  Or pick up a chart and find a clearly Ukrainian name ( when we traveled my dad would go through the local phone book looking for Ukrainian names).  They were flabbergasted and ecstatic that the doctor spoke even poor Ukrainian.   And  I came home from work one day and told my wife ( also from my same Ukrainian background in Chicago),  “damn it my parents were right after all”.  Fortunately my mom was still alive so she got to hear it from me.

    • #12
  13. JoshuaFinch Coolidge
    JoshuaFinch
    @JoshuaFinch

    When you hear that poor girl’s plight and set it against the supine posture of the US and NATO, it breaks your heart. Send in a team of super commandos and take out Putin, Osama Bin Ladin style.  You do not back down where tyrants are concerned.  You hunt them down and neutralize them. It would set an example for Xi, Kim Jong Un, and the ayatollahs to contemplate.

    • #13
  14. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    JoshuaFinch (View Comment):

    When you hear that poor girl’s plight and set it against the supine posture of the US and NATO, it breaks your heart. Send in a team of super commandos and take out Putin, Osama Bin Ladin style. You do not back down where tyrants are concerned. You hunt them down and neutralize them. It would set an example for Xi, Kim Jong Un, and the ayatollahs to contemplate.

    Offer any Russian who takes down Putin 1 billion in Bitcoin.

    He won’t be sleeping well after that.

    • #14
  15. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Kozak (View Comment):

    JoshuaFinch (View Comment):

    When you hear that poor girl’s plight and set it against the supine posture of the US and NATO, it breaks your heart. Send in a team of super commandos and take out Putin, Osama Bin Ladin style. You do not back down where tyrants are concerned. You hunt them down and neutralize them. It would set an example for Xi, Kim Jong Un, and the ayatollahs to contemplate.

    Offer any Russian who takes down Putin 1 billion in Bitcoin.

    He won’t be sleeping well after that.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if offers like that are already made, quietly.

    • #15
  16. Lawst N. Thawt Coolidge
    Lawst N. Thawt
    @LawstNThawt

    The world gets smaller every day and this is the kind of relationship that makes the world a smaller place and a better place. 

    • #16
  17. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Kozak (View Comment):

    JoshuaFinch (View Comment):

    When you hear that poor girl’s plight and set it against the supine posture of the US and NATO, it breaks your heart. Send in a team of super commandos and take out Putin, Osama Bin Ladin style. You do not back down where tyrants are concerned. You hunt them down and neutralize them. It would set an example for Xi, Kim Jong Un, and the ayatollahs to contemplate.

    Offer any Russian who takes down Putin 1 billion in Bitcoin.

    He won’t be sleeping well after that.

    And yet the Biden administration explicitly rejects not only an assassination of Putin, but even a regime change!  And Trump was criticized for playing nice with Putin.

    https://www.voanews.com/a/white-house-disavows-senator-s-call-for-assassination-of-putin-/6471280.html

    • #17
  18. Lawst N. Thawt Coolidge
    Lawst N. Thawt
    @LawstNThawt

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    JoshuaFinch (View Comment):

    When you hear that poor girl’s plight and set it against the supine posture of the US and NATO, it breaks your heart. Send in a team of super commandos and take out Putin, Osama Bin Ladin style. You do not back down where tyrants are concerned. You hunt them down and neutralize them. It would set an example for Xi, Kim Jong Un, and the ayatollahs to contemplate.

    Offer any Russian who takes down Putin 1 billion in Bitcoin.

    He won’t be sleeping well after that.

    And yet the Biden administration explicitly rejects not only an assassination of Putin, but even a regime change! And Trump was criticized for playing nice with Putin.

    https://www.voanews.com/a/white-house-disavows-senator-s-call-for-assassination-of-putin-/6471280.htm

    Perhaps they had their fingers crossed behind their back.

    • #18
  19. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Lawst N. Thawt (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    JoshuaFinch (View Comment):

    When you hear that poor girl’s plight and set it against the supine posture of the US and NATO, it breaks your heart. Send in a team of super commandos and take out Putin, Osama Bin Ladin style. You do not back down where tyrants are concerned. You hunt them down and neutralize them. It would set an example for Xi, Kim Jong Un, and the ayatollahs to contemplate.

    Offer any Russian who takes down Putin 1 billion in Bitcoin.

    He won’t be sleeping well after that.

    And yet the Biden administration explicitly rejects not only an assassination of Putin, but even a regime change! And Trump was criticized for playing nice with Putin.

    https://www.voanews.com/a/white-house-disavows-senator-s-call-for-assassination-of-putin-/6471280.htm

    Perhaps they had their fingers crossed behind their back.

    How very courageous of them!

    • #19
  20. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Lawst N. Thawt (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    JoshuaFinch (View Comment):

    When you hear that poor girl’s plight and set it against the supine posture of the US and NATO, it breaks your heart. Send in a team of super commandos and take out Putin, Osama Bin Ladin style. You do not back down where tyrants are concerned. You hunt them down and neutralize them. It would set an example for Xi, Kim Jong Un, and the ayatollahs to contemplate.

    Offer any Russian who takes down Putin 1 billion in Bitcoin.

    He won’t be sleeping well after that.

    And yet the Biden administration explicitly rejects not only an assassination of Putin, but even a regime change! And Trump was criticized for playing nice with Putin.

    https://www.voanews.com/a/white-house-disavows-senator-s-call-for-assassination-of-putin-/6471280.htm

    Perhaps they had their fingers crossed behind their back.

    How very courageous of them!

    Well, that’s smarter than what my brother told me tonight, about Blinken saying on TV or something that Poland would send fighter planes to Ukraine.  What is Poland supposed to do after that?  Deny it, of course.  And even if they would have done it before, now they pretty much can’t.

    • #20
  21. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Lawst N. Thawt (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    JoshuaFinch (View Comment):

    When you hear that poor girl’s plight and set it against the supine posture of the US and NATO, it breaks your heart. Send in a team of super commandos and take out Putin, Osama Bin Ladin style. You do not back down where tyrants are concerned. You hunt them down and neutralize them. It would set an example for Xi, Kim Jong Un, and the ayatollahs to contemplate.

    Offer any Russian who takes down Putin 1 billion in Bitcoin.

    He won’t be sleeping well after that.

    And yet the Biden administration explicitly rejects not only an assassination of Putin, but even a regime change! And Trump was criticized for playing nice with Putin.

    https://www.voanews.com/a/white-house-disavows-senator-s-call-for-assassination-of-putin-/6471280.htm

    Perhaps they had their fingers crossed behind their back.

    How very courageous of them!

    Well, that’s smarter than what my brother told me tonight, about Blinken saying on TV or something that Poland would send fighter planes to Ukraine. What is Poland supposed to do after that? Deny it, of course. And even if they would have done it before, now they pretty much can’t.

    Why deny it?  That would encourage the bully Putin even more.  They should stand up like men, like the Ukrainians.

    • #21
  22. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Lawst N. Thawt (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    JoshuaFinch (View Comment):

    When you hear that poor girl’s plight and set it against the supine posture of the US and NATO, it breaks your heart. Send in a team of super commandos and take out Putin, Osama Bin Ladin style. You do not back down where tyrants are concerned. You hunt them down and neutralize them. It would set an example for Xi, Kim Jong Un, and the ayatollahs to contemplate.

    Offer any Russian who takes down Putin 1 billion in Bitcoin.

    He won’t be sleeping well after that.

    And yet the Biden administration explicitly rejects not only an assassination of Putin, but even a regime change! And Trump was criticized for playing nice with Putin.

    https://www.voanews.com/a/white-house-disavows-senator-s-call-for-assassination-of-putin-/6471280.htm

    Perhaps they had their fingers crossed behind their back.

    How very courageous of them!

    Remember how Hillary bragged about Khadafi?

    “We came. We saw. He died.”

    • #22
  23. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Lawst N. Thawt (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    JoshuaFinch (View Comment):

    When you hear that poor girl’s plight and set it against the supine posture of the US and NATO, it breaks your heart. Send in a team of super commandos and take out Putin, Osama Bin Ladin style. You do not back down where tyrants are concerned. You hunt them down and neutralize them. It would set an example for Xi, Kim Jong Un, and the ayatollahs to contemplate.

    Offer any Russian who takes down Putin 1 billion in Bitcoin.

    He won’t be sleeping well after that.

    And yet the Biden administration explicitly rejects not only an assassination of Putin, but even a regime change! And Trump was criticized for playing nice with Putin.

    https://www.voanews.com/a/white-house-disavows-senator-s-call-for-assassination-of-putin-/6471280.htm

    Perhaps they had their fingers crossed behind their back.

    Or perhaps they were thinking of tit-for-tat.

    • #23
  24. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Lawst N. Thawt (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    JoshuaFinch (View Comment):

    When you hear that poor girl’s plight and set it against the supine posture of the US and NATO, it breaks your heart. Send in a team of super commandos and take out Putin, Osama Bin Ladin style. You do not back down where tyrants are concerned. You hunt them down and neutralize them. It would set an example for Xi, Kim Jong Un, and the ayatollahs to contemplate.

    Offer any Russian who takes down Putin 1 billion in Bitcoin.

    He won’t be sleeping well after that.

    And yet the Biden administration explicitly rejects not only an assassination of Putin, but even a regime change! And Trump was criticized for playing nice with Putin.

    https://www.voanews.com/a/white-house-disavows-senator-s-call-for-assassination-of-putin-/6471280.htm

    Perhaps they had their fingers crossed behind their back.

    How very courageous of them!

    Well, that’s smarter than what my brother told me tonight, about Blinken saying on TV or something that Poland would send fighter planes to Ukraine. What is Poland supposed to do after that? Deny it, of course. And even if they would have done it before, now they pretty much can’t.

    Why deny it? That would encourage the bully Putin even more. They should stand up like men, like the Ukrainians.

    That’s pretty easy to say, sitting snugly in the USA.

    • #24
  25. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Lawst N. Thawt (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    JoshuaFinch (View Comment):

    When you hear that poor girl’s plight and set it against the supine posture of the US and NATO, it breaks your heart. Send in a team of super commandos and take out Putin, Osama Bin Ladin style. You do not back down where tyrants are concerned. You hunt them down and neutralize them. It would set an example for Xi, Kim Jong Un, and the ayatollahs to contemplate.

    Offer any Russian who takes down Putin 1 billion in Bitcoin.

    He won’t be sleeping well after that.

    And yet the Biden administration explicitly rejects not only an assassination of Putin, but even a regime change! And Trump was criticized for playing nice with Putin.

    https://www.voanews.com/a/white-house-disavows-senator-s-call-for-assassination-of-putin-/6471280.htm

    Perhaps they had their fingers crossed behind their back.

    How very courageous of them!

    Well, that’s smarter than what my brother told me tonight, about Blinken saying on TV or something that Poland would send fighter planes to Ukraine. What is Poland supposed to do after that? Deny it, of course. And even if they would have done it before, now they pretty much can’t.

    Why deny it? That would encourage the bully Putin even more. They should stand up like men, like the Ukrainians.

    That’s pretty easy to say, sitting snugly in the USA.

    Of course it is.  But should I instead encourage them to cave-in and become wimps?

    • #25
  26. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Kozak (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Wow.

    Kozak, you are a good friend and a good doctor.

    Prayers for Iryna.

    For her and all of Ukraine.

    I wish the video had subtitles. Watching her sing was heartbreaking, and I’m sure it would have been more so if I knew the words.

    Oops! Wrong thread. Sorry.

    • #26
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