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Supporting Our Maui Health ʻOhana in Ukraine

"While the conflict is half a world-away, the war in Ukraine is top of mind for many at Maui Medical Center, especially for those who have family there."

The war in Ukraine has been the news headline for months and for most of us, what we see on TV is the only connection we have to what is happening on the other side of the globe.

But for one of our employees, it hits much closer to home. Inese Kudeja is a nurse at Maui Memorial Medical Center in the ICU. She is Ukrainian and half of her family is still in Kharkiv ― one of the hardest hit areas of the country.

“Everything is shattered, destroyed. It’s brought to dust,” she said in a recent Hawaii News Now interview.

When Inese found out that a Hana Health PA, Aaron Asay, would be traveling to Ukraine on a mission to help rescue orphans, she shared that with her ICU manager and the team immediately sprang into action. They reached out to hospital leadership and within just a few days, Maui Health and many others in the Maui medical community were able to help put together supplies including blankets, wound care bandages and dressings, and medications.

Aaron traveled with Aerial Recovery Group, the leading orphan rescue mission in Ukraine, who has saved more than 1,300 orphans and refugees so far.

After a few weeks and helping dozens of orphans and refugees to safety, Aaron has since returned home to his family on Maui.

Aaron and Inese want to thank everyone on Maui who helped make the trip and all the work they did on the trip possible.

“I'll never forget the smiles on those kids’ faces when they were rescued knowing that they were now safe,” Aaron said during the interview.

Below are images of the donation pick-up from Maui Health and Aaron's mission to Ukraine.

Click here to see the full news story by Chelsea Davis from Hawaii News Now.