The story of Serhiy Fetisov, a vascular surgeon who works at the Institute of Emergency Surgery in Kharkiv.

“I love Kharkiv, that’s why I haven’t left it since February 24.” Serhiy moved to Kharkiv from his hometown in 2002. He graduated from Kharkiv Medical University and stayed to develop in the city. On the first day of the war, Serhiy was in Kharkiv with his family.

“I had an operation scheduled at work, so there were no thoughts about leaving the city urgently,” the doctor recalls. On the same day, problems with food, fuel, and medicines began. Despite everything, the man continued to go to work every day. When serious shelling began in Kharkiv, enemy aircraft appeared – a decision was made to send the family to a safer place.

On March 1, Serhiy sent his relatives to Poland, and later they arrived and live in England. Instead, he stayed in the hospital for the next 3 months. In addition, his colleagues who remained in Kharkiv also lived in the hospital. Serhiy recalls that about 20% of the staff, mainly young people, remained in the hospital. Others went to the region, some to the west of Ukraine, and some abroad. “We all moved to the hospital with things – with the minimum kit for life. We were in a panic, because there was no understanding of what would happen tomorrow,” the doctor recalls.

From Serhiy’s recollections, their hospital received wounded civilians and soldiers who were brought from nearby areas. And that’s when it became clear that doctors lacked a lot to help the victims.

“In peacetime, patients were provided with the necessary funds and hospitals, but in wartime, due to the closure of all pharmacies in the city, disruption of logistics and the lack of extra money, people had serious problems with medicines, medical supplies, and equipment,” he shares. The perceived shortage of some positions in the hospital prompted the man to turn to friends and acquaintances through social networks. And he was able to attract many people who helped: with drugs, fuel, clothes, money – everything they could.