A Ukrainian/Irish woman is preparing to drive from Ireland to Ukraine to rescue her elderly mother and grandmother.
Luba Healy has been living in Ireland for the past 22 years.
On The Pat Kenny Show this morning, she said she has finally persuaded her 70-year-old mother Nina and 98-year-old grandmother Galina to flee the war and come back to Ireland with her.
She is now preparing to drive to Ukraine with her husband Eugene and pick them up on the Polish border.
The couple are also carrying supplies for the Ukrainian army and elderly people in need – and they are appealing to anyone who can lend them a minivan for the trip to help them.
“To be honest with you I cannot sit anymore and wait and pray to see if they will survive or not, so I persuaded my Mam and Nana to come,” she said.
“My Nana said I will come. I’ll take the journey, but only if you bring me back again. So, one way or another I will bring her back and I will go and get them.”
Nina and Galina were eventually convinced to leave their home after Russian forces threatened to bomb the local graveyards while people were visiting them as part of a Ukrainian Easter Sunday tradition.
Luba has organised a minivan to get them from their home to Polish border along with seven other people who are trying to flee.
“I have already nine people in the bus and I have people constantly ringing me saying take me, take me,” she said. “It’s very hard to play God and you are saying, I can’t take you, all the seats are gone.”
Luba said her mother and grandmother are all packed and ready to go and the van driver in Ukraine is just waiting for word on when to leave.
“I have the minivan waiting for them,” she said. “They are packed and ready to go. They have packed their cats and dogs.
“I am now trying to persuade the doctor to come with my nana on the trip. I hope she will come otherwise she will provide her with the medical requirements and I can maybe get her a drip on the Polish border.”
She has put together care packages for people in Ukraine as well for the Ukrainian army and the driver has agreed to deliver them to exactly where they are needed.
“I decided to plea and ask people if they have anything left to donate, especially for the older generation,” she said. “For the grannies who are left with no jumpers and shoes or anything - and they are not fussy; they’re not saying they need a label on it - they just need to wear something. They have no food or no nothing.
“I am a vet doctor and a lot of vet doctors who are in Ukraine are saying to me that a lot of dogs and cats and animals have been left behind and they are just wondering around hungry. So, I was here yesterday last night collecting stuff just myself from people in Trim.
“I didn’t advertise much because I have to be limited in what we try to do – if we can get the bus to come from Trim to Poland.
“We are going to drive either way; we have two cars. We are going to get the two cars and bring trailers and go to Poland to try to collect people and give them back all goods and every box will have an address on it and the gentleman who will collect it on the other side will deliver them direct and he will make sure it is getting to the people who need it most.”
The couple are planning to leave in two time at the latest – but they are hoping to source a minibus before that.
The journey will take around 48 hours, not including sleep breaks.
She said she has been overwhelmed by people’s generosity since she planned the rescue.
“Thank you so much to everybody is helping us and who is giving the message to the whole world about what is happening,” she said.
“Thank you to all Irish people. You are all amazing. Absolutely amazing. Thank you.”