On Saturday, a United Hatzalah team that was operating on the Palanca border between Ukraine and Moldova spotted long queues on the Ukrainian side and requested permission to enter and see if there were refugees that required medical attention on the other side. Vicky Tiferet, one of the volunteers with United Hatzalah stationed at the border, later described what she had found:
“We entered with a bag full of medical supplies. As soon as we passed, we joined a local ambulance crew that had been stationed there who greeted us warmly. They told us that they were waiting for a vehicle from a volunteer organization that was supposed to pick up and evacuate a 50-year-old man who had suffered 2 strokes and was suffering multiple pressure ulcers on his legs and lower back. But the ambulance team said the organization in question had not responded for several hours.”
The man reached the border with his family and was being carried on a stretcher.
“They told us they were from Mykolaiv and spoke of the horrors they had seen on the Ukrainian side of the border,” Vicky added. “They said they made it to their car inside the city under fire from rocket barrages and crawled on the ground to get to the car, and everyone was shaking in fear.”
Vicky, together with Dr. Roi Shaham and Nurse Liat Weiss who had accompanied her, took the man out on the stretcher and got permission from the border guards to allow the United Hatzalah vehicle into the border crossing to carry out the patient. “We transferred the patient on a blanket to the vehicle that arrived and took him for medical treatment,” Vicky said.
“We disinfected the wounds and changed the man’s bandages. We then gave the couple medication for immediate use, and they told us that the fighting had made it difficult for the patient to obtain his medication for the past month. This put his life at risk, and we were seeing the evidence of it in front of us. Without our intervention, the man’s situation would have continued to deteriorate and he would have required hospitalization,” Vicky continued. “I asked the couple where they were headed and they told me their children had moved to a refugee camp in Germany at the beginning of the war. After a short stay in Moldova, the couple is headed to Germany to join their children. Now, with continued care and using the medications we gave them, they will be able to make it.”