The final time Marharyta Nahornaia spoke to her husband, Nikolai, was about 12:15 p.m. March 3, earlier than the bombs hit the hospital the place she labored in Chernihiv, Ukraine.
Nahornaia, who goes by Rita, made it to the U.S. Aug. 1 and has been staying together with her nephew in Tinley Park, being a nanny to his son. Whereas she’s grateful to be with household, Nahornaia stated she nonetheless feels house sick as her house nation goes via warfare.
The Rev. Vasyl Sendeha, priest at Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Palos Park, stated Nahornaia has been coming to the church for Mass and for English language courses. Sendeha helped translate the interview with Nahornaia.
At 8 a.m. March 3, Nahornaia stated her son known as her to let her know that he, his spouse and three kids had been planning to go away Ukraine as a result of the Russians had been advancing.
Her son lived simply outdoors Chernihiv, which is close to the border with Russia and Belarus, so Nahornaia advised him she would carry them meals and diapers for his or her new child.
Throughout the one-hour stroll to her son’s home, Nahornaia known as her husband. That they had deliberate to go away the nation by automobile, however when their automobile wouldn’t begin they agreed to satisfy on the hospital, the place she labored as a pharmacist, to provide you with a brand new plan, she stated.
However on her stroll again, Nahornaia stated the bombing and capturing began to accentuate.
At about midday, her husband advised her over the telephone he made it to the hospital and requested her to let him into the basement, the place the nurses had been hiding. Nahornaia was nonetheless strolling and will see the hospital in entrance of her.
However then the bottom started to shake, rockets hit the hospital constructing and the residence constructing throughout the road and smoke crammed the air, she stated.
Nahornaia stated she fell to the bottom in terror.
“About six rockets flew in. It was so loud and a lot smoke and it acquired darkish,” she stated, through Sendeha’s translation.
The telephone line disconnected. Nahornaia stated she known as her husband again a number of instances, however there was no reply.
Nahornaia stated she looked for her husband, however the scene was chaos with individuals serving to others and particles masking the bottom. She felt in that second her husband didn’t make it.
In the end, Nahornaia stated, she was in a position to get a trip with a person who took her to space hospitals to see if somebody helped her husband and took him there for care. The following day, she checked morgues.
It wasn’t till Might, when her parents-in-law known as her, that she discovered his physique was recognized from the bombing on the hospital.
“She stayed so long as she may to search out him or his physique,” Sendeha stated. “She was nonetheless ready that possibly he would present up, however nothing.”
Nahornaia stated she was in her residence March 5 when three males broke in and robbed her of her life financial savings, the equal of $20,000.
The following night time, her residence constructing was bombed and the roof was broken. Nahornaia stated. She slept within the constructing’s basement as soon as the warfare began, so she survived.
On March 7, Nahornaia left her house after her son made preparations for her to drive with a lady who was headed towards Kyiv. The drive was worrying, Nahornaia stated, as a result of there was just one highway out there and it was beneath fixed bombing and shelling.
In hindsight, Nahornaia stated she is glad she left when she did as a result of the Russians utterly surrounded Chernihiv by March 8.
In the end, she made it to Ternopil, in Western Ukraine, and stayed for 2 months. That’s when her brother-in-law advised her she ought to go to the U.S. to stick with her nephew.
She was granted two-year refugee standing within the U.S. via the Uniting for Ukraine program and got here right here Aug. 1. At her nephew’s home, she babysits his son and helps round the home.
“They’ve a ravishing household. I’m very fortunate,” Nahornaia stated.
She got here with one suitcase and made positive to pack household pictures and essential paperwork. Nahornaia stated she particularly made positive to pack her pharmacist license and hopes to in the future get a job in a U.S. pharmacy.
Proper now, she’s taking English courses at Moraine Valley Group Faculty, Nahornaia stated.
Attending Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Palos Park has given her a house and sense of neighborhood, she stated. In Ukraine, she had quite a lot of buddies and the Palos Park church offers her the chance to be social and make new buddies, she stated.
Whereas she’s homesick, Nahornaia stated she doesn’t imagine she’ll dwell in Ukraine once more as a result of she has nothing to return to. However she has buddies in Ukraine and she or he stated she want to go to them once more.
Nahornaia hopes to have the ability to keep within the U.S.
“She’s joyful right here,” she stated, with Sendeha translating.
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