This morning, arriving at another refugee shelter in the university dorm, people were really stressed and exhausted. Liviv was bombed last night and the air raid sirens went off starting at 3 am until 5 am. They go off whenever a missile is detected. The people have to leave their beds and go into a make shift air raid shelter. It is dismal, claustrophobic and terrifying. Remember, these are mostly women and children, babies and elders huddling on mattresses on the floor for hours waiting for a possible strike on them. When it is deemed safe, they rush to their phones to find out where the bomb hit and if their loved ones are ok.
Most of the refugees here have been here for a few weeks and are so stressed out by lack of sleep and this nightly routine. Vicky, from our team, has been doing some stress reduction acupuncture. It seems to help but I think it is the human touch and comfort of a hug that is the most healing. We notice the children are all rather subdued. Not boisterous, not really playing, but standing around quietly. Even the toddlers are quiet.
A woman translator, Aliana, told us today that every morning she wakes up and makes calls to her family and friends in Kyiv and when one doesn’t answer she spends hours trying to connect and is consumed with worry. She was unable to contact her cousin for 3 days and finally did. He had been shot and was in a hospital. He will recover.
Our colleagues at Refuge4Refugees just received a shipment of bandages and splints. We have looked through the supplies and our translator Oleg is arranging transportation to Kyiv where they are desperate for supplies. Essential medications have run out and there is a need for IV antibiotics and pain medication.
The call out now is for sophisticated orthopedic supplies, nails and rods and plates. There is a huge need for trauma surgeons but it is too dangerous for anyone to go. When this is over there will be a huge need for trauma and reconstruction surgeons.