A UKRAINIAN nurse who came to England nearly 20 years ago has described the torment he has been going through since Russian forces invaded his country.
Yuriy Bukovych, a lead nurse at Solihull’s Royal Star and Garter, has parents, family and friends in the war-torn country, with many fighting on the front line.
The 46-year-old was a medic in the Ukrainian Army before coming to the UK to work in healthcare in 2003, and believes he would be fighting on the front line if he were still in his homeland.
The dad-of-two said: “It’s very difficult to digest what’s been going on.
“My parents live in Khust, which is in the western part, and is currently considered one of the safer parts of Ukraine.
“But there’s no safe place in Ukraine as such, and my parents have to go into bomb shelters several times a day.
“I worry a lot about them – I don’t know if they’ll continue receiving their pension, if I will have to support them, if the city can cope with the hundreds of thousands of refugees it has. I worry about food supplies.”
Yuriy, who lives in Solihull has been working at the home, which cares for veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia, since 2011.
He said the past few months had allowed him to understand what many residents in the Home would have experienced during the Second World War.
He went on to praise them for the empathy, support and care they have shown him since the conflict started in February.
Yuriy believes he now shares a new bond with the residents who have lived through and served on front lines.
He said: “They have been watching this unfold on TV, saying how horrified they are and asking me if there’s anything they can do.
“It made me more aware about what residents had to go through during the Second World War.
“Before I could only imagine, but now it’s so real to me and I understand what they experienced. It brought back a lot of memories for a lot of people here.
“I had a 100-year-old holding my hand and asking if I was OK. It made me realise how special this place is, and how special the residents are.”
This was further demonstrated when the charity, staff and residents helped raise over £900 for The British Red Cross’s Ukraine Crisis Appeal, through a raffle, tabletop sale and cake sale at the Solihull Home.
He said: “he support I’ve had from the very first hours of the very first day of this war from Royal Star & Garter has been mindboggling. It’s proof that everyone really cares and I’m very grateful for that.”