We Are Together: Russian Surgeon Saves Hundreds in Donbass

We Are Together: Russian Surgeon Saves Hundreds in Donbass

Boris Gurkin and his colleagues from NovocherkasskWe Are Together: Russian Surgeon Saves Hundreds in DonbassInternationalIndiaAfricaExclusiveRussian trauma surgeon Boris Gurkin took a two-week vacation from work to save lives in the Donbass conflict zone in early August 2022. In March 2023, he returned to the embattled region. “I have combat experience and I work in an emergency hospital and I know what problems arise with a large number of wounded and injured,” Gurkin told Sputnik. “I understand that they are in constant need of manpower – specialists and assistants. I am a traumatologist and I decided that I should definitely participate, help in any way I can. And if possible to involve other doctors too. That is, to show by example that it is really necessary, that it is useful, and so on.”Gurkin is a trauma surgeon and the chief physician of the emergency hospital in Novocherkassk in Russia’s Rostov region. His patients are those wounded in car accidents, falls, or who suffer from serious household injuries. He is also a major of medical service in reserve, who performed hundreds of surgical operations in different hotspots.Having arrived to Donbass in August 2022, Gurkin worked in hospitals on the territory of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) not far from the front line. In 14 days, he performed a whopping 117 surgeries, 8-9 a day on average, saving over a hundred lives. In March 2023, Gurkin decided to go to Lugansk again.”I have made this trip as part of the project ‘We are together’,” he said. “That is, we have prepared and acquired certain humanitarian aid, including medical products, external fixation devices for surgeries, dressings, crutches, sleeping bags, strategic gloves. I took all these. Also a few people who wished to participate in helping went with me. And so we all did the same together. Local Cossacks escorted us so that we arrived without problems to medical institutions of Slavyansk.”Gurkin revealed that they worked in civilian medical institutions but treated both military and civilian patients. The trauma surgeon and his colleagues worked and lived there on the territory of hospitals. They performed surgeries, receiving from 7 to 20 patients per day and conducting the same number of surgeries.We Are Together: Russian Surgeon Saves Hundreds in DonbassRussia’s Special Operation in Ukraine’I Know the Truth’: Donetsk Musical and Drama Theater Team Heals Souls and Believes in Victory27 March, 18:14 GMT

Experience of Two Chechen Wars

He noted that his experience as a military physician came in handy: “I know the peculiarities of the treatment of gunshot wounds,” the surgeon explained. “That is, surgeons do not often see such injuries in ordinary life. I went through all these. I served in a special detachment in the first and second Chechen Wars, in the district military hospital.”Gurkin recalled that there had been many patients at that time.”We often provided first aid near combat zones, so I know how and where to evacuate [patients], where to start, how to treat gunshot wounds,” he continued. “Naturally, I am familiar with the specifics of providing medical care in combat conditions, the specifics of evacuation. That is, there are many nuances that are different if compared with the work of a conventional medical institution. It happened that I was conducting an operation and there was shelling all around. This happened all the time; so you need to be ready to evacuate to a safe place, evacuate both yourself and the wounded, and continue the work in proper conditions.”We Are Together: Russian Surgeon Saves Hundreds in DonbassRussia’s Special Operation in Ukraine’Nazism is Disease’: Texan Came to Donbass to Protect People & Tell the Truth About 8-Year Long War1 April 2022, 05:29 GMT

‘No One Moaned or Whined, Even Hopeless Ones’

Injuries treated by Gurkin were mostly caused by explosions of mines, bullets and artillery shells. “But, of course, most of all [they were caused] by explosives.””No one moaned, or whined, even though sometimes we faced hopeless cases,” he added.”The first time we counted that our brigade conducted 117 surgeries on the first trip. We did not take into account the second trip. There were also several of us, we worked in different teams, but I think that we also made more than 100 in total. But these are serious operations, and we also carried out minor surgical operations. We didn’t even consider them,” he said.Gurkin noted that Donbass residents are highly motivated and some hastened to return to the front line even having sustained serious injuries.”We had a patient who was about 60 years old,” the surgeon recalled. “He is a resident of the Lugansk People’s Republic. And he was hit by a mine explosion. He lost part of his leg, there were other multiple wounds. His children also participated in the conflict, both a daughter and a son. And he waited until he recovered and was ready to go there almost immediately to be with them.”However, there are injuries that would never let one return to the front, he added: “These are severe injuries to the joints, when their functions are not restored, or a limb has to be amputated.”© Photo : Boris GurkinBoris Gurkin and his patients at a Donbass hospitalWe Are Together: Russian Surgeon Saves Hundreds in DonbassBoris Gurkin and his patients at a Donbass hospital

People of Donbass: Sincere, Kind and Compassionate

The physician pointed out that regardless of suffering an eight-year-long war which the Kiev regime waged against the people of Lugansk, they remained strong, courageous and kind-hearted.”I have never met such sincere, kind and compassionate people,” Gurkin said. “I communicate with many people from there and keep in touch with them. I have maintained warm relations with doctors from Donbass, we exchange experience. Before going there, I asked them what they needed, where they needed help, what to bring. And I have met a number of doctors from other parts of Russia there. These were doctors from Moscow, from St. Petersburg, from Siberia, from Krasnodar. I see everyone, I communicate with everyone, and I really like what unites us. I hope that I will see them periodically at some of our common events, conferences, and maybe even in some kind of combat conditions if necessary.”© Photo : Boris GurkinBoris Gurkin, preparing for a surgeryWe Are Together: Russian Surgeon Saves Hundreds in DonbassBoris Gurkin, preparing for a surgery

‘We Are Together With Russia’

Last year Gurkin won the contest within the framework of Russia’s humanitarian mission “We are together with Russia”. The special nomination was awarded for actions and initiatives of special significance in helping the residents of Donbass and other new regions of Russia. The award was given to the physician by the people he saved.”It was unexpected for me: to get to the final and, moreover, to win,” the surgeon admitted. “To be honest, my colleagues and I included my act in the nomination in order, in general, to draw attention to this issue, to this problem, which we considered to be really important at the moment. And then, when I suddenly received a letter that I got to the final, of course, it was very surprising, especially as a winner against the backdrop of very serious rivals. “Of course, this is unexpected and very honorable. I wanted to draw attention to volunteering. Manpower is always in need there. This helps save the lives of citizens, first; secondly, this helps save lives of military personnel. And the solution to this problem depends on how quickly they will return to work or to duty, respectively. This is a global problem, I think, and a very important one. And we all should participate, not only those wear uniform.”© Photo : Boris GurkinBoris Gurkin with his colleaguesWe Are Together: Russian Surgeon Saves Hundreds in DonbassBoris Gurkin with his colleaguesAccording to Gurkin, his initiative prompted new volunteers to follow suit. Medical specialists from various regions of Russia called him asking what they can to help the people of Donbass and Russian military servicemen participating in the special military operation to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine.He is wishing Russian soldiers, protecting our country in new Russian regions both spiritual strength and health.”What more could a doctor ask for?” Gurkin said. “So they could see that we support them and, if possible, we will do everything in our power to save them in case of injury or something. We are ready to admit them, ready to provide all the necessary assistance and support to them.”


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