For US resident Alexander Spektor, the birth of his twins came with as much fear as it did joy.
The twins were born prematurely to a surrogate in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv last week; with the mother going into labor just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the invasion.
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The hospital where they were born was attacked on Tuesday; with hospital staff posting photos of significant damage to the structure.
“Today they were transferred from one hospital where there was no shelter; there was no basement,” Whenever the city’s air raid sirens began sounding, hospital staff and patients had to “run across the street into a church where there was a basement,” he added.
The babies have now been transferred to a safe and properly equipped hospital.
Spektor added he was “incredibly worried … just worried, tired, but also most incredibly hopeful.” He is currently in the US state Georgia, waiting for a chance to see his children.
“We’re hoping every day that this moment will come soon,” he said; but added that each day brings a new critical task.
Today it was transferring the babies and surrogate mother to a safer hospital; tomorrow it’s ensuring they receive the supplies they need.
Sick children in Kyiv moved to hospital bomb shelters
Inside the underground bomb shelters of a Kyiv children’s hospital; the mood is somber and quiet.
“The parents do not smile. Neither do the children. But the parents try to make the best of the situation for their children by playing games; singing songs; playing cartoon videos on mobile phones,” photographer Timothy Fadek said. “When the sirens are heard, the parents gather their children and try to distract them from the outside noise.”
The hospital’s intensive-care unit has been moved to the shelters. Some children are on ventilators. Others require transfusions. A few require surgery. Many are receiving chemotherapy to fight cancer.
There has been recent shelling near the hospital at night; and doctors told Fadek they fear the worst is yet to come.
“Hospital staff is unsure if the hospital will remain off-limits as a target,” Fadek said. “So they try to place as many parents and their children in the bomb shelter as possible; especially when the sirens go off, usually five times a day or more.”