Ambulance sent from Warwickshire destroyed in missile attack in Ukraine - but volunteers vow to not give up

Warwickshire members and volunteers behind the organisations helping to provide Ukraine with emergency vehicles and equipment have vowed to not give up – despite their first ambulance being destroyed.

Ambulance Aid’s first ambulance  (delivered in April 2022) was destroyed on July 21 in a missile attack at a hospital's garage. Photos supplied by Ambulance Aid
Ambulance Aid’s first ambulance (delivered in April 2022) was destroyed on July 21 in a missile attack at a hospital's garage. Photos supplied by Ambulance Aid

The ambulance, which was provided by Ambulance Aid, has been destroyed in a missile attack, which flattened the hospital building which the vehicle was parked in.

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A hospital medic reported the ambulance had been, “very useful for the frontline. It had been used to evacuate the injured every morning, after the 6am curfew.

"Unfortunately, it was still parked at the hospital that morning. We are trying to get the precious medications out of the ambulance.”

So far, Ambulance Aid has sent Ukraine five ambulances and one SUV and it works with Medical Aid Ukraine - West Midlands, to fills the vehicles with medical supplies.

The first two ambulances were donated and driven over in April by Mark Pritchard Jeffs and Alf Rykowski.

Volunteer director Claudine Pearson said: “This is a stark reminder of the reality on the ground in Ukraine.

"We are deeply relieved there were no casualties; the one person inside at the time of the attack, escaped with only concussion.

“We are on standby to deliver two ambulances to hospitals most in need, in partnership with Medical Aid Ukraine.

“Donations are urgently needed to help fund our next delivery, which leave at the end of the month."

Dr Tania Hebert, coordinator of Medical Aid Ukraine – West Midlands, was born to Ukrainian parents and brought up there until she was four.

She has lived in the UK ever since and is now a GP in Coventry. She said: “The raw physical pain of witnessing the destruction of my beloved Ukraine must usually stay hidden, so I can continue to function, continue to work, and continue to organise medical relief.

“But there are moments when reality makes it impossible to hide.

"One was receiving the message this morning, whilst watching my four-year-old son open his birthday presents, that our first ambulance had been destroyed in yet another bombing of a hospital overnight.

“It's left me heartbroken. This ambulance was a symbol of hope, our first ever mission.

“We will not give up; we will send more medical aid and vehicles. There is no other way.”