On the ground: Helena woman returns to Ukraine with medical supplies

Valerie Hellermann Hands on Global

Editor’s note: The Independent Record received an email early Sunday from Hands On Global Executive Director Valerie Hellermann, of Helena, who is offering aid and comfort to people in Ukraine and is making her third trip to the area since Russia launched a war in February 2022. Portions of this report have been edited for clarity.

Today our Ukrainian driver picked us up in Budapest, Hungary, and we drove to Mukachevo Ukraine.

Crossing the border took awhile as we had 17 bags of medical supplies packed to the max. They were filled with trauma supplies including 100 tourniquets, medications and limb-saving orthopedic supplies.

The Hungarian border control had us open 3 random bags and were a bit perplexed at the nails, bolts and screws from the orthopedic box.

They let us pass through to Ukraine customs where we had to do a lot more explaining. Lucky we had 2 letters from the NGO (non-governmental organization) and one letter translated into Ukrainian. We arrived in Mukachevo in pouring rain to the Children’s Regional Hospital. Our friend and head trauma surgeon had been pulled away to emergency trauma surgery.

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