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Langford humanitarian group bringing medical supplies on next Ukraine trip

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East Sooke, B.C. -

Vitaliia Atamanuk has been living at the Ukrainian Safe Haven in East Sooke since September, along with her two kids and her mother.

Fleeing the war in Ukraine, her husband Oleg – a general surgeon like her – has come to Vancouver Island to visit with his family.

Next week, Oleg will be returning to Ukraine, where he is desperately needed.

He practices in the west of the country, away from the front lines, but the hospital system there has still become overwhelmed with soldiers and civilians critically injured during the ongoing war with Russia.

On Wednesday, Oleg was given a specialized surgical drill to take with him back to Ukraine. It is a tool that is used to drill through bone for setting pins and rods into a patient.

Developer Seacliff Properties, which will soon break ground on the Royal Beach development in Colwood, purchased and donated the drill.

“We just wanted to lend our support in providing that equipment to ensure they are as best equipped as possible to help the people of Ukraine,” said Georgia Desjardins, Seacliff's director of development.

The man delivering the drill is Bob Beckett, who will soon lead another humanitarian mission to Ukraine soon, his second trip in less than a year.

“The need is absolutely urgent,” said Beckett. “We get requests everyday from our contacts there.”

The first trip in late June focused on feeding those displaced by the war. This trip will focus on medical supplies, currently housed at the Langford Fire Hall. As well, an assortment of fire rescue equipment will be donated including a Jaws of Life.

“You could imagine how valuable that would be in a building that’s collapsed,” said Chief Chris Aubrey of Langford Fire Rescue.

The hall is storing just some of the supplies the group will be taking to Ukraine. More will be purchased in neighbouring Poland and brought into the country during the trip.

Now, it’s a matter of getting the aid to Europe.

“If we’re spending money on freight, we’re not going to be able to turn that into badly needed supplies,” said Beckett.

He says he will be reaching out to Air Canada in hopes the airline will help get the supplies to where they are needed the most.  

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