News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Greater Akron Chamber

The Holden Arboretum

Akron General

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Health and Medicine

Cleveland doctor is clearing obstacles to help severely wounded Ukrainians
An effort is underway to bring casualties from Ukrainian violence here for treatment

Kevin Niedermier
Dr. Maria Strus has gotten Volodymyn Mochan to Cleveland for treatment of severe head wounds he received during Ukrainian protest, but she's having difficulty getting other patients here.
Courtesy of Kevin Niedermier
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

As the violence in Ukraine continues, a Cleveland doctor is helping to bring some of the most severely injured to Ohio for treatment. It’s part of a larger effort to evacuate patients to the U.S.

It's having some success, but also faces obstacles in Ukraine. As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, only one injured Ukrainian has made it to Cleveland so far.

LISTEN: Helping Ukrainians in Northeast Ohio

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:30)

Ukrainian-American Dr. Maria Strus works with the Cleveland Clinic and other area hospitals and heads the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America’s Ohio chapter. For decades the group has aided Ukrainian children suffering from chronic illnesses. But after violent protests broke out there late last year, Strus says Ukrainian officials and doctors began seeking advanced treatment for other patients.

Ukraine’s medical system being stressed by the violence
“Some of the types of injuries, which include many burn injuries, require specialized care that exceeds the availability there. To be more specific, I was told the only burn hospital is located in Donetsk, Ukraine, which is located in one of foci of the war right now that’s taking place in Ukraine.”

Strus has been working through the maze of visas and Ukrainian instability to bring eight patients to Cleveland. Last month, Volodymyn Mochan was the first to arrive. He’s living with a host family in Westlake, waiting for major reconstructive surgery for head wounds scheduled for next week. With Strus interpreting, Mochan explains why he risked his life protesting on Kiev’s Maidan Square earlier this year.                                  

“He states that, without Maidan there would be no Ukraine.It’s because of Maidan that Ukraine has a potential to continue to exist. He feels he didn’t want the Russian influence destroy Ukraine.”

Cleveland patient shot twice during Ukrainian protests
The 37 year old Mochan says a sniper shot him in the head during the protest, but he wasn’t severely injured. He returned two days later, and was shot again, this time in the cheek. That bullet exploded, tearing up the inside of his mouth and shattering facial bones.

The injuries make it hard for him to eat, drink and talk. He was first treated in Kiev and then in Poland before making it to Cleveland. Strus says he’s one of the lucky ones. Plans are on hold to bring over a burn victim and a man with a severe leg injury.

“One gentleman, the one accepted by the Cleveland Clinic, has not been located and they’re having difficulty finding his whereabouts in Ukraine. The other individual has deteriorated and is now undergoing emergency surgeries to stabilize him and prepare him for transfer here, eventually.”

Two of the other patients originally bound for Cleveland recovered enough to stay in Ukraine, a patient with a leg injury got worse and doctors had to amputate instead of sending him here, and two other patients disappeared and Dr. Stru’s group was told they were killed. And any plans to fly the injured out were further complicated recently when a passenger plane was shot down over Ukraine.

Malaysian passenger plane downing adds more problems
“As the visas were being prepared for processing for these individuals, the event with Malaysian Airlines occurred and created another delay in the process.”                                                                                                                

Strus says America Airlines is willing to fly patients to Cleveland, if her group can somehow get them to Germany. Much of the organizing for the patient evacuations from Ukraine is being done by the Ukrainian Federation of America. The group works on humanitarian causes in Ukraine and is funded by donations from the Ukrainian-American community.

Its president, Dr. Zenia Chernyk, says eight patients are receiving pro-bono treatment at hospitals in five U.S cities including Cleveland.  Two others have already come and gone. But, she’s concerned about Ukraine’s escalating violence.

Nationwide effort to help injured Ukrainians in U.S. also stressed
“We planned to treat 12 in this country but the scenario had changed dramatically so I don’t know what our capability of helping is going to be. More so, there’s difficulty transporting these people from this new conflict because they’re much more seriously injured that from the ones from the initial conflict.”

Meanwhile, Cleveland patient Volodymyn Mochan is anxious to get home to his wife and two young daughters, though he’s not too concerned about their safety because they are in the more peaceful western part of Ukraine. After he recovers, he also hopes to return to his job as a railroad mechanic.

Related Links & Resources
Ukrainian Medical Association of North America

Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Local club works to bring back the once-prevalent American elm
I would love to help! Where would I get some of the new Strain so I could plant them?

Ohio Rep. John Boccieri sworn into office and hopes to look for 'middle ground' with colleagues
Welcome back to the Statehouse, John. You are a terrific representative in the truest sense always representing the people's voice in teh district you serve. ...

Lawmakers call for indefinite freeze on Green Energy standards
It's a shame the Hudson Rep. Chooses to mimic the words of the extreme right senator on his way out to join ALEC when we know the Pope was just here because of...

Youngstown Schools file suit against the Ohio Department of Education to stop the implementation of an academic distress commission
Voters should ask WHY this plan was rushed into law under the cover of darkness. What clues point to the beneficiaries of this plan? Both Patrick O'Donnell of...

Great Lakes conference considers a range of threats
Your article states "Studies discovered over half of all PAHs found in the Great Lakes region come from a single source: Coal tar sealants.". I'm curious to whi...

ODOT awards Kent-based Davey Research Group nearly $50,000 to improve highway landscapes
This is an outrageous waste of taxpayer's money. Good for only Davey Tree and their cronies in the State government. It takes $50k to figure out the way to save...

Canton: another Northeast Ohio city is planning its comeback
Historic Ridgewood and the Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority have no seats at the table. Very flawed right out of the gate. Ridgewood pays a huge percentage...

Property owners oppose a wind farm in Northern Ohio
Here is a link, exposing the connivance of the fossil fuel industry, in trying to prevent us from moving away from their outdated, filthy, and expensive forms o...

A new industry in Ohio aims to repurpose river sediment
and where do those PCB's end up??the story never says

A safe space: How Northeast Ohio colleges try to fight sexual assault
Very good and thorough job on a very sensitive topic!

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University