A Plymouth nurse was among those who stepped in to provide medical aid to wounded veterans and refugees in Ukraine during her annual leave this summer.
Tracey Halton, a neonatal sister at the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, visited hospitals in Uzhhorod in June as part of a group called PUMA – Plymouth Ukraine Medical Aid.
“The war is far from over, it’s getting worse and our help is still needed”
The group was founded by trust staff soon after the Russian invasion began in February 2022, to help offer support and supplies.
When another volunteer fell ill, Ms Halton stepped in and with just one hour’s notice was on a plane, alongside her husband, Dan, on the way to Ukraine.
The pair took aid to treat wounded veterans and refugees at a specialist respiratory hospital and also visited a local children’s hospital.
Speaking about her time in Ukraine, Ms Halton said: “What stood out to me was the solidarity and pride of the Ukrainian people.
“They were helping each other through crisis and so welcoming and thankful for us just being there and showing our support.”
Ms Halton and her husband experienced an air raid warning and were offered shelter while they were there.
“It was a surreal experience, being sat in a shelter eating dinner normally and knowing you’re safe when someone else out there might not be,” she said.
She added: “The war is far from over, it’s getting worse and our help is still needed.”