A team of four local health professionals are being hailed heroes after going to Poland to help with healing efforts amid the war in Ukraine.
Janet Semenova, though, stayed one week longer to cross into Ukraine and continue saving lives.
Semenova tells ABC15 it was a heart-wrenching and eye-opening experience. It is one she says was made a little easier knowing they saved hundreds of lives.
“Three, four, five, ten times a day, you may hear air sirens and they go off throughout the night as well,” she said while recalling hearing air strike alerts almost every hour of the day in Lviv.
Semenova showed ABC15 a video she recorded of these alerts.
“And you don't really know where the missiles are going to hit,” she added.
Despite the continued air strikes, she moved forward with her mission, alongside the Aerial Recovery Group, to bring hundreds of orphans to safety.
“Being that I speak Russian and being that I was a pediatric nurse practitioner for many, many years, I just felt a calling to go over there and help the orphans,” Semenova said.
She says Ukrainian troops were also out patrolling the area.
“They’re covering up the statues, and they’re getting ready for an invasion and they’re preparing for a siege. And so the city is very much on alert,” she added.
While in Lviv, she says she treated children and adults.
Back when she and her team of four were at the Poland-Ukraine border, she says the crossing was full of foot traffic.
“Myself, Carla [Stark] who’s a nurse, and then Svetlana [Reznikova-Steinway] who’s an emergency room doctor and Cheri [Macy] who’s also an emergency room physician, brought 800 pounds of medical supplies that people in the Valley extraordinarily, generously donated to us,” said Semenova.
This is what they saw:
“Tens of thousands of people a day, sometimes are coming over… and you have thousands of volunteers who have come over from all over the world to set up food tents, and to set up medical tents, and to set up clothing drives,” she told ABC15.
Semenova says many refugees were bussed out to shelters, filled with thousands fleeing the war.
“It’s just an extremely disorienting experience for a lot of people and they looked shell-shocked. I don’t think I’ll ever forget what I saw and what I experienced,” she said.
She added that her team of four is having a hard time processing it all. Though they say being there made them realize medical supplies can’t get there fast enough, and more can always be done to help.
“Our work is just beginning,” she said with confidence.
Here is a list of medical supplies still needed in Ukraine:
- Backpacks, 10" x 19" x 14" (approximate size)
- Bandage strips, 1’’ x 3’’
- Big cinch abdominal bandage
- Burn aid - water gel burn dressing 4x16
- Burn aid - water gel burn dressing 4x4
- Butterfly strips
- Cervical collar
- CPR mask
- Cravat bandage (CamoVat)
- Dynarex medicut sterile disposable scalpels #10
- EMT shears
- Eye wash - 4oz.
- IV catheter - 18g
- IV catheter - 20g
- IV catheter - 22g
- IV starter kits
- Medical adhesive tape rolls (2-3in)
- Multi-trauma dressings, 12’’x30’’
- Pain relievers -ibuprofen or acetaminophen, or both
- Pair of tweezers
- Safety pins
- Stainless steel hemostats
- Sutures needle, size 6
- The emergency (Israeli battle dressing) compression bandages
- Tongue depressors
- Triple antibiotic ointment (full size)
- Abdominal pad (sometimes “ab pads”), 5’’ x 9’’ (2x)
- Acetaminophen / Tylenol
- Adhesive bandages (band-aids) in several sizes
- Adhesive tape
- Aluminum splint, 36’’
- Ambu bags
- Antibacterial ointment
- Antibiotics: Zosyn and unasyn iv, vancomycin iv
- Antiseptics wipes
- Aspirin / Bayer
- Butterfly bandages, 0.5’’ x 2.75’’ (16x)
- Caffeine pills
- Central venous catheter kit
- Chest seals (1 pair)
- Coban roll, standard, 2’’ x 5 yards
- Cravat / triangular bandage, 45’’ x 45’’ x 63’’
- Doxycycline and/or Bactrim antibiotics
- Dressing materials, including dry or impregnated gauze
- Elastic bandage
- Elastic wrap/ACE bandage, standard 4’’ x 5 yards
- Emergency blanket (2x)
- Fluids: IVF (nss 09%, LR, d5nss)
- Gauze pads, 4’’ x 4’’ (6x)
- Gels, foams, hydrocolloids, alginates, hydrogels, and polysaccharide pastes, sutures
- Gloves (2 pairs)
- Hydrocortisone cream (1%)
- Ibuprofen / Advil
- Irrigation syringe, 20cc with an 18-gauge tip
- IV catheters
- Laryngeal tube
- Loperamide / Imodium
- Moleskin, 5’’ x 2’’ strip
- Mouthpiece for giving CPR
- Nasopharyngeal airway
- Needle and thread stored in isopropyl alcohol (2x needle/thread, 1x small container)
- Pepto-Bismol pills
- Plastic cling wrap, 2’’’ wide roll
- Plastic films
- Portable ventilators
- Pressure dressing
- Rolled gauze, standard 4.5’’ x 4 yards
- Safety pins (3x, various sizes)
- Saline eye-drops
- Silk medical tape roll, 1’’ wide
- Trauma shears
- White petroleum jelly / Vaseline in small container
- Z-fold gauze, standard 45’’ x 4 yards
- Civilian drones
- Satellite phones
- Medical tactical backpacks