Right next to the area covered by the state of emergency, there is an informal group of people with medical education that helps exhausted, sick and cold migrants. Medics on the Border, as they called themselves, report their interventions in dramatic situations almost every day. Help was received, among others, by an elderly man with an amputated part of his leg, who had been wandering through the forest for many days, or a pregnant woman who complained that she was kicked in the stomach on the Belarusian side.
What is the activity of the Medycy na Granicy group? It is an informal team of medically educated people who, in their free time, drive an ambulance close to the state of emergency and help migrants in need of medical care. Virtually not a day goes by without an intervention. We recreated the last few days of their work on the basis of entries in social media and statements of participants in the action.
They helped the woman in the second trimester of pregnancy
Wednesday, October 20. “After midnight, our team received a report from an aid organization that a large group of people needed help. The victims had been in the woods for many days.” The medics emphasize that it was impossible to reach a group of over 30 people with any vehicle. “We had to park at the end of the road and make our way to the group at night through the dense forest with our equipment and assistance packages” – they report.
They found eight men, six women and 16 children. The youngest of them was about one year old and was breastfed. They were all cold, very hungry and thirsty. The medics provided food, water and blankets to those in need.
“One of the women was in the second trimester of pregnancy. Her condition worried us a lot – the complaints she reported could indicate serious obstetric complications. After feeding, warming and hydrating her condition, her condition improved” – we read in the report.
Medicines for people with internal and gynecological ailments
The medics also helped an elderly man who had had part of his leg amputated and had been wandering through the woods for days. They inspected the stump and dressed it, and the man was given painkillers. A few other people who suffered from injuries, internal medicine and gynecological ailments also needed medication.
“All our patients flatly refused to be transferred to the hospital. They were afraid of being separated from their families. The group was very grateful to us for the help provided. We were hugged goodbye. We returned to the base after 6 am – the whole operation lasted about six hours. It was the toughest of ours. interventions so far. We have never seen anything like this in our entire professional life “- summarize the medics.
The patient was hypothermic with profound impaired consciousness
October 21, Thursday. Around At 1.30 am the team helped a 24-year-old who wandered barefoot through the forest wearing soaked clothes. After the examination, she was diagnosed with hypothermia with profound impaired consciousness. The patient was in a life-threatening condition. The woman was taken to hospital.
October 22, Friday. Medics at the Frontier are not idle even when there are no dramatic interventions. They inform that they are starting a cycle of first aid training. “We invite residents and employees from the border region as well as members of local aid organizations” – they encourage.
The members of the group talk about their activities. “While on duty in Podlasie, I watch a film in which a two-year-old girl sleeps in a cold forest. Then I see her in our ambulance and my own childhood photo comes to my mind. Her dark curly curls, just like mine. Her white tights pulled high over her tummy. Like with me. My face was smeared with strawberries, there were scratches on her face. I was warm and, fortunately, she is also here. That’s why I take part in this action “- explains Kaja Filaczyńska, specialist in endocrinology. He emphasizes that one should “leave the world better than it has been”.
October 23, Saturday. “Today is a difficult day at the border. Our team has already received three summons in the morning to groups of people in need of medical assistance. Without exception, the patients are cold. A few, including a pregnant woman, needed to be transported to the hospital. In our opinion, the situation outside the zone is getting worse” – the medics write.
Among others, they helped a group of four (two women, two men). “We found the injured in the forest. They were chilled, hungry and dehydrated. They had wet clothes. The most severe condition was a hypothermic man with concomitant disturbances of consciousness. His condition was aggravated by a chest injury, the cause of which we were unable to determine” – they say in the entry in sunday. “The patient was not able to walk – so we evacuated him from the forest on a stretcher (about 500 meters). (…) Our intervention was hindered by the falling hail. We transported the sick to the hospital” – we read.
The patients were dehydrated, hungry and cold
October 24, Sunday. During the intervention at Eight medics found six adults and a 10-year-old boy on the spot. They were all dehydrated, hungry and chilled. One woman had a superficial leg injury that was treated.
“We also consulted the condition of an elderly woman chronically ill with a cardiological disease. We provided drinks, food and blankets included in the emergency packages. No one required transport to the hospital. Members of aid organizations were present” – we read in the report.
Around noon of the same day, the medics helped a group of six adults and four children of preschool and early school age. All of them received help packages. A man with a nose injury claimed he was beaten on the Belarusian side. Likewise, a pregnant woman complained of being hit in the stomach. However, the patient did not agree to be transported to the hospital.
October 25, Monday. Summing up the weekend, the medics emphasize: “Last weekend we also provided numerous telephone consultations, also to patients staying in the state of emergency, where our team still has no access. Contact with some of these patients has ceased – we do not know their fate” – they admit .
Medics are not allowed to enter the zone
Medics also complain that although their base is located several hundred meters from the zone under the state of emergency, the Ministry of Interior and Administration did not grant them permission to cross the border of this zone.
“We know that there are many people behind this line who need medical help. We have equipment, skills, but we cannot cross this line” – emphasize the medics.
Main photo source: Medics at the border