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The heartbreaking moment Ukrainian children with cancer are forced to say goodbye to their fathers and flee

A war zone is not a place for the weak or the sick.

We are visiting the children’s hospital in Ukraine’s cancer ward. There, doctors have a plan for an evacuation that will be as delicate and difficult as possible.

They plan to organize a medical convoy to transport some of the most sick children from the hospital across the border in Poland.

It will make children and their families refugees, but it could save lives.


This hospital is located in Lviv, Ukraine, which is miles away from the bitter fighting further east. However, it is not secure.

Although staff have taped windows to prevent them from shattering in the event of shelling, they know that it is not enough.

Regular air raid sirens have made it impossible to provide care due to war.

One of our films ends in a crash.

Yuliya Novogovitsyna, a representative of the Tabletochki Charity Foundation, said that “You’ll now see how all the patients need to get out of their rooms.” You can go with them, but you should take your coats.

Today, sick and tired families rush down to the underground shelter, where it’s cold and damp and completely surreal.

This hospital was constructed during the Soviet-era in order to treat officials of high rank and their families.

A disused spa is located in the basement.

Families can be seen sitting in sauna rooms or perched on camp beds set up in the large, empty swimming pool.

These areas, which were once luxury items for Russian leaders many decades ago, are now protected by terrified Ukrainian families.

Oksana and her daughter Oksana arrived at the hospital yesterday.

They wait anxiously for the end of the tunnel gloom and hold on tight to one another.

Oksana says that of all the safe spots, this is the most secure. “I don’t believe anyone in Ukraine feels safe right now.

Elina, Oksana’s seven-year-old daughter, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at the end last year.

Mother and daughter fled their home in eastern Ukraine to seek treatment. However, when war broke out, they were forced to flee further west.

Oksana says, “There was surgery and then radiotherapy.” “She will soon be able to take her next test.”

She adds, “They have told us we will be evacuated here, to Poland first. But I don’t know what we will do from there.”

None of the families knows for sure where they will end.

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Doctors try to connect them with hospitals that are suitable for them, which could be located anywhere in the world.

Oksana looks at her daughter and states: “We are going wherever they take us.”

Elina smiles and nods, a little tired.

We’re back at hospital the next day: it’s congey day.

Many families are already packed, and they’re waiting in the corridors.

The ambulance will take the most seriously ill children, while coaches can transport more stable children.

The convoy will be accompanied by diplomatic escorts and police cars, as children’s health can rapidly deteriorate.

Pawel Kukiz Szczucinski, an emergency doctor, tells us that “we are responsible for these children.” “Everything is subject to change, even down to the last minute.

“Remember that this is a warzone and that we are in an area where a missile strike has killed many people. We must be aware of this.

“And, of course there is pressure with those.”

We don’t see any of the families gathered in the filling corridor. Instead, we see the mother we saw yesterday, who is hiding in the basement with her daughter.

Oksana, Elina and I are in their bedroom trying to get the courage to go.

Oksana is shaking her hands and holding back tears.

She says, “I am afraid for the uncertainty.” “I’m just afraid.”

She does what she can to keep her daughter occupied, but she must get up and go.

Families descend to the convoy cars from the corridor.

Fathers must stay, but mothers, siblings and female relatives will also travel.

Ukraine is not open to men of fighting age.

This means that Mykhalo Vicharenko, his wife Ivanka and son Marko (four years old) are about to leave.

Marko, who had surgery to remove a brain tumor, smiles while waving a small plastic bus in the air.

Ivanka, mum Ivanka, looks nervously at him and says “He’s okay so long as daddy’s here.” “But we don’t know what he will do later.”

Soon, we will find out.

Marko sobs as his father leaves Marko, whispering sweet words of goodbye and a tearful farewell.

Mykhalo gives a last hug to his wife and daughter before he decides to take them off the coach.

It is heartbreaking to see.

Mykhalo states, “We hope this is for the good and that everything will be okay.” We hope everyone will be happy. It is difficult, but it will all be okay.

Mykhalo waves as the coach pulls away.

He gestures in the air and makes the sign of cross at the last moment.

This war is tearing apart families, removing them from control and certainty.

However, love and the need for protection remain.

It is that which drives families into the unknown and gives them the strength to face unimaginable situations.


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