SCV resident returns from fourth humanitarian trip to Ukraine, prepares for fifth visit
After returning from his fourth trip to Ukraine to provide medical and humanitarian aid, Santa Clarita Valley resident Joseph White prepares for his fifth trip just before the holidays.
In November, White traveled to Ukraine along with medical professionals to the region of Kharkiv to provide medical supplies and run a mobile health clinic for Ukrainian civilians and soldiers. Medic Corp organized the clinic with help from Inspire Hope Ministries.
“What I did with the solider was mostly physical therapy work,” White said. “A lot of soldiers, they’re struggling with a lot of musculoskeletal conditions.”
According to White, many of the soldiers he saw were volunteers. These men and women had little to no physical training to prepare them for war, and civilians as well are suffering from musculoskeletal conditions due to stress.
White recounted a woman who worked as a volunteer chef at one of the camps he visited during his trip. This woman had a severe neck ailment, but after a bit of physical therapy she regained 70% of motion.
During his trip in November, White provided much-needed over-the-counter medication, canned goods and other essentials, and portable ultrasound machines. He also thanked those who donated to his GoFundMe to purchase more portable ultrasound machines.
White had set a goal of $2,000, but people donated beyond his goal. He was able to collect $5,000 and use the money to purchase supplies for the people of Ukraine.
White said he felt safe, for the most part, as the fighting is in the eastern part of the nation. White stopped in Lviv, Kyiv and Kharkiv to help his parents Greg and HueChon with their humanitarian aid, too.
“Basically, from Sunday through Friday, I got four hours of sleep each day,” White said. “We ran that mobile clinic in a building, which was partially destroyed by missiles.”
The region he was in was recently liberated from Russia, he added. On the way to the clinic, he described the landscape as covered in trenches, landmines were everywhere, even in the trees, and pieces of missiles were on the ground.
“There were quite a few people there waiting for us. We were there for like four to six hours and we saw around 40 to 50 patients,” White said, in regards to the work they accomplished at the clinic. “We had a cardiologist, two nurses and myself.”
“We were able to help those people, who many had hypertension and arrhythmias with their hearts,” he added.
He said his recent trip was a success, but he will be going back with his wife just before the holidays to continue to help those in need.
“There a lot of people in the region that are struggling. Some don’t have even four hours of electricity and no hot water,” White said. “That’s stressful and, people, they’re just trying to live their daily lives.”
For his next trip, White is looking to purchase external, solar-powered battery packs, clothes, blankets, tents and sleeping bags for Ukrainians amid freezing temperatures. For those who are interested in donating to his GoFundMe, visit bit.ly/3utiNZ4.