MISSILES have destroyed the first ambulance donated to the Ukraine by Ambulance Aid based in Warwickshire.
The ambulance, which had been used on the frontline to evacuate the injured every morning, was crushed when the hospital building it was parked outside was flattened in the attack. ‘Ambulance Aid’ stickers were still clearly visible on the ambulance, amidst the rubble.
Ambulance Aid has sent the Ukraine five ambulances and one SUV so far. It is a not-for-profit organisation set up to send ambulances to the war-torn country.
Working with Medical Aid Ukraine – West Midlands, it fills the ambulances with critical medical supplies.
The first two ambulances were donated and driven over in April by Mark Pritchard Jeffs and Alf Rykowski.
Hospital teams based out there are currently trying to get the medications out of the destroyed ambulance, which had been seen as a symbol of hope and support from the UK.
Claudine Pearson, volunteer director of Ambulance Aid, said, “This is a stark reminder of the reality on the ground in Ukraine. We are deeply relieved there were no casualties; the one person inside at the time of the attack, escaped with only concussion.
“We are on standby to deliver two ambulances to hospitals most in need, in partnership with Medical Aid Ukraine.
“Donations are urgently needed to help fund our next delivery which leaves at the end of the month. Unexpected extra mechanical costs are putting a strain on finances. Donations can be made via Just Giving justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ambulance-aid-ukraine ”
Dr Tania Hebert, coordinator of Medical Aid Ukraine – West Midlands, was born to Ukrainian parents and brought up there until she was four. She has lived in the UK ever since and is now a GP in Coventry.
She said: “The raw physical pain of witnessing the destruction of my beloved Ukraine must usually stay hidden, so I can continue to function, continue to work, and continue to organise medical relief.
“But there are moments when reality makes it impossible to hide. One was receiving the message this morning whilst watching my 4 year-old-son open his birthday presents, that our first ambulance, had been destroyed in yet another bombing of a hospital overnight.
“It’s left me heartbroken. This ambulance was a symbol of hope, our first ever mission.
“We will not give up; we will send more medical aid and vehicles. There is no other way”.