Heartfelt gratitude – Lyudmila Teryaeva

Lyudmila Teryaeva

Operating nurse of the trauma department of the Kurakhiv city hospital

I have been working as a nurse for 38 years. Eight of them, our hospital is located in the front-line zone of the Donetsk region. During this time I have seen a lot, but when you have a six-year-old girl lying on the operating table and asking: "Am I not going to die?", and then her heart stops...

It cannot be described in words. I still can't stand watching children's hearts stop on the operating table.

For me, not much has changed since February 24. The war came to us back in 2015. Then there were battles for Krasnohorivka and Maryinka. The Ukrainian army took these cities under its control, and the local district hospital was evacuated from Krasnohorivka to Kurakhovo,which was nearby. For these seven years, I have been driving 25 kilometers to work.

In recent years, there have been significantly fewer wounded. Everyone thought: a little more - and the war is about to end.

But on the 24th, life turned upside down again: dozens of wounded civilians began to be brought to the hospital. Against the background of a full-scale war, some doctors were evacuated, some quit. Only the desperate and brave workers remained on their positions, and they  are still working today. But in reality, there are not enough hands: instead of six nurses, there are three of us working. And the operating room nurse can't do much without a surgeon.

We started working in 24-hour shifts - in the operating room and in the department.

Many of wounded were brought first from Volnovakha, then from Maryinka. And again, the biggest pity is the children. Once a boy was brought to us. He took breakfast to an elderly neighbor, and as soon as he took a few steps away from her, a shell flew into the house.

The grandmother died, and the boy, all in splinters , was brought to us. Two fingers on his right hand were torn off. When the volunteers brought him sweets, he looked at this mountain of candies and said: «I don't need anything, i only wish I had fingers».

On the same day, a six-year-old girl was operated. Her mom was in tears asking to save her daughter’s leg.

But the operation was difficult, internal organs were also affected. This little girl was lying on the table and kept asking: «Am I not going to die?» And then her heart stoped .  We started the reanimation. Ten, 20, 30 minutes... And in my there was the only  question: «Will I not die?» She was resuscitated for 40 minutes. When all hope was gone, a pulse line appeared on the monitor. It was impossible to look at it without tears. The girl survived. When she regained consciousness, she was evacuated to Dnipro.

No matter how many years I work - even on the front line - every time you worry about everyone - as for yourself, as for your own child. I feel sorrow for everyone . None of us understand why innocent children suffer. You need  to have nerves of steel for this kind of work.