Watch CBS News

South Florida Doctors, Volunteers Step Up To Help Ukrainian Victims In Moldova

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Over 2 million Ukrainians have left their homes looking for safety and medical care since Russian troops began their invasion of the European nation.

Local doctors and volunteers from the Miami Chapter of United Hatzalah, a non-profit medical service organization, have been in Moldova for the past three weeks saving the lives of those who have been injured or displaced.

"Without a doubt, there have been some scary situations, but I'm trying to remain focused," said Dr. Zev Neuwirth.

Dr. Neuwirth was in an ambulance, that he bought, on his way to help a woman who just gave birth in a basement while we spoke Thursday morning.

"She's kind of trapped there and very fearful about trying to get out or go anywhere and obviously in her condition she's not capable of going to some of the transports that are leaving."

"Whether its bus or train or what have you, and we're concerned about some of the complications that she might be experiencing," said Dr. Neuwirth.

United Hatzalah has been helping him buy medical supplies, IV fluids, food, and anything they may need to help treat and care for people.

"They are exceptionally grateful, they break down in tears, hugs and it's exceptionally moving," said Dr. Neuwirth.

He says this is his life's purpose and although moments can be scary, he feels called to help.

"There was this one situation last week where we pulled out a family and we had some injuries, blast injuries... under sirens and we were under missile attack, as well, and we got them to safety and we were all just moved to tears... we all broke down," said Dr. Neuwirth.

Dr. Neuwirth went to medical school at 42 years old, after his late wife passed away from brain cancer.

So, in the moments when he's helping the new mother, who gave birth in a basement, or the man who is fighting cancer and doesn't have access to his chemotherapy, those moments, he says, is why he became a doctor.

"And as my calling, I'm not living just my dream but living who I am, and helping people, they're patients, they're people in need. They're lives, they're souls – they need help, that's why I'm here."

He says, once he's back home in Miami everything will likely hit him. But, for now, he's trying to remain focused on patient care and saving one life at a time.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.