The response to Kybele’s appeal for medical supply donations was met with tremendous generosity. More than 50 individuals made donations for Kybele’s Ukraine response in the initial days of the war, knowing that 100% of their money would go towards the purchase of life saving first response equipment such as military-grade tourniquets. Additionally, Kybele put out a call for additional equipment through Johns Hopkins, Downstate alumni, and social media. We received significant support from Dr. Emily Sharpe and other active members of SOAP. We were able to secure 3 Butterfly ultrasounds and 1 Vave wireless ultrasound, donated directly by Renee Dversdal, as well as three additional ultrasounds donated by individuals. Additionally, Kybele purchased 550 ASA Tech tourniquets. We joined in fundraising efforts led by Oksana Makarchuk, the Ambassador of Ukraine in the United States. Donated equipment also included a Glidescope from Curtis Baysinger, and a “Pentech” video laryngoscope, suture material, gauze, flow seal and surgical instruments donated by Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Between February 28 – March 1, 2022, the team packed medical supplies and March 2, 2022, left from Newark NJ (EWR), heading to Warsaw, Poland (WAW) with four large suitcases of medical equipment. In Warsaw, they were met by Oskar Filipowicz. Another Warsaw contact, Natalia Oliynuk, a physician from Ternopil, Ukraine, who is currently residing in Warsaw, provided them with housing and additional support. They also met with Mihal Soczynski, CEO of Reago, a tactical rescue and support organization, who has worked with training physicians in wartime and terrorist situations. The latter provided additional medical equipment, flak jackets and first-aid supplies to ensure our safety. Upon assessment of the situation in Poland, it was clear that they were not able to rent a vehicle to enter into Ukraine, so Mihal lent his personal car to drive the medical supplies into Ukraine. They made plans to leave at 2AM to ensure that we will be able to cross the border at 7AM when Ukrainian curfew stops. At that point in Kyiv, the situation was extremely unstable and the team assisted in the evacuation, shelter, transportation and food for a small portion of our Kybele team in Kyiv Hospital #6.