Russia-Ukraine War

San Francisco Nurses Help Refugees in Poland as War in Ukraine Continues

NBC Universal, Inc.

Two Sutter Health nurses from San Francisco recently flew overseas to help refugees fleeing Ukraine as the war drags on.

Yana Mikheleva and Natalya Shterngerts spent the past week in Poland volunteering their medical skills.

To them, it was personal. Both nurses were born in Ukraine and still have family members in the war-torn country.

The nurses teamed up with an international organization to provide medical help at a refugee center, where they saw up to 2,000 refugees coming and going.

They said members of the organization spoke little Ukrainian or Russia. Since they both speak Ukrainian, they quickly became assets.

Most importantly, they became a sounding board to refugees who wanted to share their stories.

"You could imagine, just their whole world's been uprooted," Mikheleva said. "And, as much as yes, they had very high blood pressures and their feet hurt from walking for days, right, there were a lot of medical things we addressed. But, for the most part, people just needed to talk. They needed somebody to listen, if only for a minute."

Both nurses said they don't consider themselves heroes. Instead, they feel privileged they were able to help.

They both plan to go back again at some point.

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