In A Ukrainian Hospital, Cancer-Stricken Children Are Told The Explosions Outside Are Celebrations
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which is well into its second week is now taking a toll on the civilians who are caught in the crossfire.
While many have fled the country, there are others who can't and don't realise what is happening around them.
In the oncology department of Chernihiv Regional Children’s Hospital, there is a group of 11 young cancer patients who are too ill to be treated at home.
The eldest of them is 15 years old and the rest are below 12 years.?
The city that is close to the Belarus border is coming under increasing Russian bombardment.
“We actually don’t know how to survive here. It’s unreal. We don’t have any more resources,” Serhiy Zosimenko, the head of Evum, a non-governmental organization that supports the children’s oncology ward told The Global Mail. “They’re in tough condition and need evacuation.”
"The Russian attacks on the city in recent days included strikes on schools and an apartment building - we need to get these children to safety," he explained.
“We pretend it’s a game for them. We try to keep their spirits high. When it rumbles outside, we say it’s the Russians celebrating with fireworks,” he told The Sun.
He however said that the older children understand that there is a war going on.
"They see their mothers crying. But they also know that they are surrounded by people who will look after them."
Yana and her two-year-old son Nikita are among the people trapped in the basement of the Chernihiv Regional Children’s Hospital in Ukraine.— The Globe and Mail (@globeandmail) March 4, 2022
In a video shared with The Globe, Yana pleads for a safe place to continue treatment for her son's leukemia.https://t.co/8JOVDRqcrV pic.twitter.com/E0IiZ3CMJV
He said that the children are mostly sleeping in a first floor corridor of Chernihiv Regional Children’s Hospital as it is safer than higher floors.
As the war rages on the hospital fast running out of critical medicines and even painkillers.
The hospital is now down to its last eight ampoules of morphine and was running out of other painkillers. “And when the people are sick with cancer they need a lot of painkiller drugs,” he said.
"Time is running out for us - we have medical supplies for one to three weeks at the most. There are no fresh supplies coming in. May God help us," he told RTE.
Zosimenko and his team want to take the children and their parents to Italy for treatment, but for that, first, there should be an end to the bombardment in the city that is now surrounded by Russian troops.
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