As reported by ABC News, officials announced Tuesday that four Ukrainian children with cancer and their families arrived at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, making it the first hospital in the United States to receive patients from Ukraine.
According to St. Jude, the families flew from Krakow, Poland, on a US government medical transport plane. According to a video given by St. Jude, some of the children walked into the hospital with white unicorn plush animals and Ukrainian flags.
In a statement, St. Jude President and CEO James R. Downing stated, “Our promise to children with fatal diseases extends around the world, and we are honored to play a part in assisting these families in migrating to safety to continue their children’s treatment.”
More than 400 cancer-stricken Ukrainian youngsters have been transported to a clinic in Poland. Doctors are working quickly to place them in one of the 200 hospitals spread across 28 nations. St. Jude, the Polish Society of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology, Poland’s Fundacja Herosi (Heroes Foundation), and Tabletochki, a Ukrainian charity that works for children with cancer, began evacuations immediately after Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24.
“While there is still work to be done,” Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, director of St. Jude Global, said, “we are determined to accomplish as much as we can as quickly as possible.”
The children that arrived in Memphis ranged from nine months to nine years. They will receive advanced medical treatment as well as trauma-informed psychosocial counseling. St. Jude is also working on a school curriculum for the patients’ siblings.