A family doctor

Irina Yazova lives in my apartment building in Bucha. She is a family doctor and a mother of three.

On March 5th my husband and our friend brought home our neighbor Vladimir. He had gone out to check on friends and one of the rashists* snipers shot and badly wounded him. For three hours he was lying on the road next to our building. Tanks drove by. At first, he hoped that they would not run him over, but after a while he thought that it would be better if they would because he couldn’t endure the horrible pain. For four days, Ira, who is not a surgeon, nor a military medic, dressed his wounds and sedated him. We feared that if an ambulance wouldn’t take the wounded man, he would not live until morning. But Vladimir lived till evacuation a few days later, because Ira treated him and nursed him – saved him.

At the same time Ira had to deliver a baby. It so happened that a 9-months pregnant woman lived in our building. And the baby decided to be born on the 12th day of the war. There was no electricity, no water, no heating, no obstetricians in Bucha. Ira.had never delivered a baby before, but no one had any inkling that was the case. For the woman in labor, Ira was the embodiment of confidence, and no one knew how scared she was that night. The obstetric express delivery team of our building (one family doctor plus one designer plus one housewife) welcomed little Alice to this world. She was born in the dark and cold, but everything went perfectly. A few days later, both the mother and the child were evacuated.

Ira does not consider her actions something out of the ordinary, she simply did what she thought necessary at the moment – she was faithful to the Hippocratic oath, helping those who needed help.

* rashist –  a new word, combination of Russian and fascist.


By Vika Kurilenko, April 3 2022. Translated and abridged by Elena Lozovsky

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Marianna Epstein