Solidarity knows no borders
I had been told that the worst time to be in Ukraine was winter, and for a "Caribbean" like me, used to Isla de Margarita and Los Roques, to name a few of the most beautiful islands in the world, I thought it would be hard to bear 30 degrees Celsius below zero and... I got over it
I had been told that the Russians were winning the war and in Ukraine I found men, women, and young professionals willing to fight to the death, in the strict sense of the words, to save the country they love, and in the event, they couldn't go to fight they give up their new cars, even a part of their income to help stop the invader. Or spend their free time helping their most affected brothers. My respects to those who taught me the true meaning of being a "patriot"
They told me that on the war front, I would see a lot of pain, suffering, and death.
Was I scared? Of course. I don't think anyone can say that the feeling of anguish caused by the real danger of being on the front lines can be avoided when you hear the artillery, the explosion of a missile, or see the limp bodies of young people on an abandoned road.
What would be more painful for me than the tragedy of a poor hospital in a Latin American country? Or helping with the devastating fire in Tacoa, in Venezuela when an explosion at one of the largest oil tanks killed 180 firefighters, journalists, and volunteers?
And here I learned the tragedy of evil, that we human beings are capable of causing indescribable suffering to another innocent being. Causing intentional, planned, and morally unjustified harm to denigrate, dehumanize, physically, emotionally, and mentally destroy, eliminate, or kill someone. And disappear it.
I can tell you that many times in these last three months I hid so that a patient, a colleague, or a soldier would not see me crying like a child.
Today spring has finally arrived. The sun shines. In less than a month I will leave Ukraine for visa reasons and will return in about two months.
Our responsibilities at HOLD ON MEDICAL MISSION will keep us busy until February 2024. For now, other colleagues will dedicate their time, talent, and treasure to help, and will remain in my position until my physical return. Thank you very much for being there for me. God is smiling too.
Roberto Infante MD