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The race to save Ukrainian infant's life after hospital strike

Jul 10, 2024

Kyiv [Ukraine], July 10: Oleh Holubchenko's team was in the middle of surgery on five-month-old Taras when an explosive wave sent the medics flying across the room.
Shards of glass tore into Holubchenko's back and his colleague Ihor Kolodka's face. The baby remained in place on the table, surrounded by shattered equipment and five bleeding adults.
"Is everyone alive?" Holubchenko recalls shouting.
Anaesthesiologist Yaroslav Ivanov grabbed the manual resuscitator to keep the baby breathing after the ventilator broke. Worried the ceiling would collapse, some members of the team ran to the basement with Taras.
These were the dramatic moments after a missile struck Okhmatdyt children's hospital in central Kyiv on Monday, an assault that shocked Ukrainians and prompted angry condemnation from Kyiv and its Western allies.
The U.N. said on Tuesday there was a "high likelihood" the hospital took a direct hit from a Russian missile during a series of airstrikes on Ukrainian cities that have killed at least 44 people. The Kremlin has said, without providing evidence, that it was Ukrainian anti-missile fire, not Russia, that hit the hospital, large parts of which were reduced to rubble.
Two adults were killed at Okhmatdyt and dozens wounded. Many patients, relatives and staff had fled to basements in time to avoid the worst of the blast.
"For me, Okhmatdyt was the safest place for kids and adults. On that day, I realized there are no safe spaces left anywhere," Ivanov, 39, told Reuters over the telephone on Tuesday as he recovered from concussion and cuts.
When they reached the basement, Ivanov and his colleagues found a room free of smoke and away from the screams of the injured.
There they brought the baby back to consciousness and handed him over to a team of doctors to continue the surgery at another hospital.
Source: Fijian Broadcasting Corporation