When and how did you decide to join MedSpot?
I decided to join MedSpot in mid-May. Through Bernard Leenstra (Dutch doctor, MedSpot facilitator – ed.), I got in touch with a network of Dutch doctors helping Ukraine, who contacted MedSpot.
I worked with Doctors Without Borders and Sea-Watch. I have worked in war-torn countries such as Syria and Iraq, where I worked in hospitals in refugee camps and in regional hospitals for local people. Mostly I worked on rescue boats in the Mediterranean, saving refugees, migrants and asylum seekers from drowning.
Were there any memorable cases in Beregsurány?
Stress understandably causes many extra symptoms in people. I saw a man who came in with shortness of breath. I could not find any acute illness that would have caused it, and then he told me that he had been very nervous the day before because he was supposed to board the bus with his colleagues, but had missed it in Ukraine because he did not have the right papers. The nervousness made him smoke a lot more than usual, which probably caused the shortness of breath.
Then I saw a 12-year-old Ukrainian girl with back pain. She came to see me alone. I couldn’t find anything that was causing her back pain that I could treat. She then asked me to see her little sister, who had had upper back pain since she was little, and her brother, who had a small wound on his head. I never met their parents. Her concern for them was touching.
Do you have anything to take home from Beregsurany?
At the time I was there, there were few refugees arriving and most were in transit to their prearranged destinations. Nonetheless, it was a valuable experience to see how the emergency response in Hungary was structured and how motivated volunteers were to help Ukrainian refugees.