Early in the morning we were invited with dr. Judah to meet with mayor of Zhitomir Sergey Suchomlin.
The mayor was so glad to see an American surgeon come to Zhitomir at this hard time to share his expertise with Ukrainian colleagues.
We had a short meeting as dr. Judah was expected to join his Ukrainian colleagues for his first surgery.
I did not expect that I would be invited to the surgery room. But the doctors wanted me to be near so I could translate.
I was not afraid at all and what I saw was actually very interesting, like a discovery channel.
Now you can call me dr. Alex.
Tomorrow we start at 8 am.
Thank you all.
I have been immersed in the surgery world for the last three days. Our day with dr. Judah starts at 8 am in the staff room and then we would make the rounds with surgeons and interns at two surgery departments and two intensive care departments.
Then dr. Judah was assigned with the surgery and he would start it usually at 10 am. I was humbly present at the operating room.
I had a chance to be at open heart surgery, thyroid removal surgery, gallbladder removal and several laparoscopic biopsies.
Every time dr. Juda was in the staff room and the surgeons wanted to talk to him. I was not much of a help when they wanted to discuss some methods in pancreatic surgeries. They used pieces of paper and pen and made drawings and they seem to understand each other well!
The director of the hospital and invited dr. Judah for dinner at his office. He is a big boss. But he and all of the staff could not stop thanking Judah for coming and being alongside them in these difficult times. Viktor the head of the surgery department got into tears and said to dr. Judah: “Thank you for coming, you are my family now!” That was rather moving.
Left to right. chief anesthesiologist, head of surgery department. dr. Judah, director of the hospital, a prominent general surgeon.
Viktor and other surgeons shared that during the first two weeks of war their hospital received a lot of casualties from Bucha and Irpin. Those two weeks were the most difficult. The war zone was only 60 km from us and Zhitomir was under missile attacks. The surgeons had to keep working under the sirens without any chance to stop the surgery. They are the heroes!
They even told us about two Russian soldiers who were brought there with serious brain wounds. They received proper treatment and were stabilized. The soldiers were from Vladivostok and were picked up by our militaries and brought to the hospital.
Today we are going to the military base to teach soldiers first aid, triage and evacuation.
We wish you a Happy Easter, and we wish us all the end of the war.
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