Experience sharing from Ukraine

Maria Korovina

I’m radiological-engineer from Kharkiv, Ukraine. I work at CNPE “Regional Oncology Center”. On February 24 Russian army attacked my city at 5 am. My apartment was at the borders of my city and I watched the burning suburb. The first night of the war caught me in fear, I was totally shocked. I never thought the war would happen. Then we were hoping that in wouldn`t last long and we stayed at basement with my toddler daughter and neighbors.  On continuation of war, I decided to leave Kharkiv when fighter aircrafts started bombing the city. It was so terrifying when you hear the plane engines’ and think it will bomb your house or neighbor’s house. I left the city with all my family: my parents, sister family, daughter, husband, his parents, dog and cat. We were like gipsy camp. My 90-year-old grandma stayed in Kharkiv, it is second war in her life. Grams refused to leave the city I call her every day and admire her courage. Now we live in little village near Poltava, Ukraine. There are a lot challenges to our routine life, but hardest is to make my daughter’s life normal. She is just a kid and do not understand why we left home, why she has no toys, why there are no little friends with her, why she is alone in the middle of nowhere and lots of others WHY questions.

In first days of shooting, artillery struck the Oncology Center mistakenly or maybe in purpose I do not know, and we were forced to stop treatment of our patients.  People with cancer need help. Our doctors help them with all they can, but for many citizens’ medical help is unavailable – especially radiotherapy. On May 18 they attack our hospital once again.

I still can`t understand why are they killing us? This war costs so many lives, resources and money every day. One can imagine how many good things can be good globally for needy with such resources. They got money for wars but can’t feed the poor.

I am thinking about nuclear medicine, particle therapy (proton therapy), research. I am scared how much work and resources will be needed to restore all damaged and vanished infrastructure with this invasion.

I am thankful for IOMPs for carrying our voice to professional colleagues all over the world.

All the photographs below are photographs of the radiation therapy department of the Kharkiv Regional Oncology Center damaged during shelling in March 2022.