'There is no time to fear': Latvian surgeon in Ukraine

In the Ukrainian capital Kyiv the Latvian microsurgeons who voluntarily went there to help in the war were visited by Latvian Television on May 14.

Latvian Television met the microsurgeon Olafs Libermanis in the evening after many hours of operations. He managed to save the hands of two Ukrainian soldiers.

 "Absolutely normal working day. Two hands shot. One upper arm. Operations. Documents. The work of an averagely-occupied plastic surgery consultant. Normal."

Microsurgeon Olafs Libermanis traveled with his colleague Mārtiņš Malzubris shortly after the war began. Mārtiņš is currently in Latvia for a short while so Olafs works alone in the military hospital.

“The intensity is [upkept] all the time, because the warfare is not diminishing. We have created a specific service – a service for severely injured hands – and my job is to get those who have severe hand injuries out of the flow, and I'm getting better than I did before. Colleagues also know that we are working and are sending [people] to us, we already have a brand established,” said Olafs.

Currently, more of Olafs' patients include soldiers from Eastern Ukraine, including Irpin, Borodianka and others. Olafs says that it is still hard for him, as a professional, to see young boys mutilated forever, and how it is difficult to understand this war: “Absolutely horrible. Because I'm half Russian. My friends are in Russia, Belarus, in Ukraine. My friends are killing my friends.”

He said there was no time to think about safety: “The trouble was in March. Unpleasant because we really thought there would be an attack on Kyiv. A direct attack. And we weren't presented with the military plan, [..] which corner of the hospital is the responsibility of whom."

"But the rest … When you work, there's no time to fear. The sirens are perceived as weather conditions. Explosions are perceived as weather conditions. There was a moment of fear when we arrived at the beginning [..],” he said.

 

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