and all the Babusyas inside and outside Ukraine, their Dedushkas, their sons, their daughters, their grandchildren, their brothers, their sisters and all their families and friends who are suffering.
And for all the volunteers and helpers who are risking their lives to save them.
My name is Oksana Mullen, and I am a proud Ukrainian living near London with my husband Justin Mullen and my two children, Francheska & Izabella. Life was wonderful until recently when my mother Galina, while fleeing the war with my father Mykola and 13 other family & friends, collapsed and died after nearly 50 hours of travel.
Rescue from Border
My husband Justin and my best friend Olya (who also had family fleeing) left for Poland immediately to get to the border and get the remaining family across the border. We got 13 people back to Ireland all of whom have now travelled to the UK.
13 Lorries and counting
Working with my new best friend in Northern Ireland (Sylwia), and my father-in-law Jerome Mullen, we have manged to pay for an send over 10 lorries of aid so far (baby food, medical supplies, protective clothing, body bags, non-perishable food, etc.)
Persuading them to Leave
My world started turning upside down on the 24th Feb 2022 - they day I got news from home that Putin had invaded. I couldnt believe it.
Like most Ukrainians living abroad we immediately started phoning family and friends
On Friday 4th March, after much persuasian and tears, my family (my dad Kola, my mum Galina, and my disabled brother Ruslan) and many of my extended family and friends in Ukraine, finally decided the risk was too great and started travelling to leave Ukraine - with hundreds of thousands of others.
A journey like no other
On Saturday 5th March my mom Galina, Babushka as she was known, started travelling with mt dad and my disabled brother. She was waiting with thousands of people on a train platform, in zero degrees, for 17 hours to get a train out of a city on the wrong side of Ukraine. She had high blood pressure, medical supplies longer term were questionable, and her city was locking down and becoming a fortress in preparation for Putin's army.
She did get on that train after 20 hours wait, and began a 20+ hour train journey in a squashed train, to get to Lviv and virtual freedom.
My worst fear
But alas that journey was took much for my mom's poor body.
She collapsed and died on Sunday 6th March just after getting off the train in Lviv, devasting my my father, brother, me and all my family.
I am haunted by the thought its my fault, because I told her to leave. She didnt want to, but I like many others, I believed that that it was only way as they could be traopped and we would never see them again.
I wont ever see her again, and I am living with the pain that I will never know if it was the right decision.
20+ Families Helped
I flew the next day with my 2 daughters and we managed to directly support over 20 families (mothers and children at Krakow train station with nowhere to sleep) during our time in Poland and
Working together and keeping it going.
I am so proud to be surrounded by great friends who have all been brilliant and helped in any way they can. And two of my friends have gone abover and beyond: Susan Roberts and Lee Chapman.
Susan and Lee decided they wanted to help more and do something different. They decided they wanted to send ambulances to Ukraine and started raising funds. Two weeks ago they got their first bus and names it Galina. And week Lee and a number of his friends have delivered the ambulance to Lviv in Ukraine.
We are going to keep rasing more funds, and supporting as much as we can whether its more food, more abulances, more medical supplies or more whatever? We will find it, purchase it and send it to them, and maintain full transparency on everythindg,