To Defenders of Freedom

Doctor Iryna saved the lives of four people during the occupation of Bucha

Iryna Yazova

Iryna Yazova, a therapist and family doctor, did not prepare for the great war—she knew that as a conscript she would remain working in the town. Her first patient during the occupation was her neighbor Volodymyr — the man was injured while returning from seeing relatives from another apartment building. Neighbors brought him to Iryna’s door, and she cut his clothes off on the spot, treated the wound, and looked after the man a few days.

The next patients were a woman with a shot shin and her one-and-a-half-year-old daughter with a wounded leg. Even the inscription “Children” on the car did not save them from the occupiers’ shelling. When Iryna helped them and ran back for antibiotics, Russian military hardware was already between the houses.

In the same Bucha, Iryna and her neighbors helped birth Alice — we shared her story previously. Young mother Anna went into labor right on the floor without light, gas, or water and by candlelight. Only after that did the doctor and her husband agree to leave the city.

On the road through the Kyiv region, the couple saw the aftermath of the crimes, photos of which were later spread around the world. But despite her experiences, the woman does not consider herself a heroine — she says she did what she had to do. Iryna is happy that she was able to save four lives: “In my place, everyone would do the same. By saving one life, you save the whole world.”

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