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Winnipeg nurse ‘speechless,’ compelled to help after Ukrainian hospital bombed

Julianna Sapieha is a nurse with Misericordia Health Centre trying to help people affected by war in Ukraine. Global News

Footage of smoldering rubble and military personnel carrying children and pregnant women out of a Ukrainian hospital Wednesday shocked the world, including Winnipeg’s Julianna Sapieha.

Sapieha is a nurse with Health Links-Info Santé Nurse at Misericordia Health Centre.

“It was incredibly devastating and shocking,” she old Global News. “I watched that footage and I wept. I wept for the innocent lives that are being affected.”

Sapieha has relatives in Ukraine who are currently safe, but she wanted to help in a way she knows best.

Read more: Ukraine says Mariupol children’s hospital bombed, further jeopardizing evacuations

“As a nurse, day to day we advocate for our patients and I thought seeing everything and feeling helpless, ‘we’re not entirely helpless,’ there are things there that we can do.”

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Click to play video: 'Children caught in crossfire in Ukraine' Children caught in crossfire in Ukraine
Children caught in crossfire in Ukraine – Mar 4, 2022

She reached out to the Misericordia Health Centre to request that the hospital gather supplies to send to Ukraine.

“Your heart breaks seeing the country that you love, where your roots are, where your ancestors are from, it’s unbelievably sad.”

Read more: Russia shifts stance over bombing of Ukrainian hospital in Mariupol city

Without hesitation, the hospital says they jumped on board gathering items.

“Medical dressings, syringes and needles, surgical supplies, suction tubing and gowns and gloves and there was also biomedical equipment that was donated as well,” says Hugh Chan, director of acute care programs with Misericordia Health Centre.

“Being a health-care professional I think its inherent in us to help other people,” Chan says.

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Read more: Ukraine worries of radiation leak after power lost at occupied Chornobyl plant

While Sapieha’s initial idea was sparked before the Ukrainian hospital was bombed, Misericordia health-care staff felt inclined to help even more afterward.

Sapieha says her yearning to help goes well beyond physical donations. She’s considered using her background in nursing to help those fleeing Ukraine.

“It’s certainly not off the table going to Ukraine or even a neighbouring country in Europe,” she says. “The thought is there and I would love to be able to go and give back to help the people in Ukraine in any way that I can.”

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