In February, when Russia invaded its neighbor Ukraine, television screens around the world showed horrifying scenes of destruction and suffering – as well as thousands of families trying to evacuate. One of those families belongs to Kseniia Malik, who was living with her husband and two children – plus another baby on the way – in the city of Irpin, not far from the capital of Kiev. After the invasion, as Russian troops grew closer to the capital, Irpin was in their path. Kseniia’s family was able to get out before soldiers occupied the city.
”Our family went to western Ukraine for a few days, but we decided to move again.” The situation wasn’t safe for Kseniia’s four-and-ten-year-old kids, not to mention their pregnant mom. Even with thousands of others trying to leave, the family was able to get across the border to Poland, where they stayed for about a month. ”We had no family, no support and nowhere to stay for long since we only had a place for one month,” Kseniia said.
Thankfully, there was a better option in America where Kseniia could deliver her baby. Her only relative abroad, Tanya Hill, lives in the Denver area and convinced Kseniia to bring her family to stay here. That would prove challenging, as it took four planes and 36 hours to get to the U.S. border, where the family was placed in a holding cell for several hours for security checks. Ultimately, they safely made it to Tanya’s home.
The next challenge was delivering Kseniia’s baby, since she didn’t have the money to pay for medical care. Littleton Adventist Hospital offered to care for her free of charge, as did OB/GYN Dr. Catrina Bubier, who had previously cared for Tanya’s friend. In June, Kseniia gave birth to baby Regina, who is healthy and happy. When asked about the care she received, Kseniia got emotional. “I was cared for perfectly. It was a really great experience. People who surrounded me were so loving, respectful and helpful. I felt it was too much that I don’t deserve their kindness. I’m so thankful for people’s kindness, it was the best.”
Watch Kseniia and Tanya tell their story to Denver7’s Jaclyn Allen
”From the top leader to the nurse in the room, it was obvious how joyful and helpful every single person was,” Tanya said. “She kept on saying how nice and kind and responsive the medical personnel is.” Kseniia dreams about moving to her own house at some point, but for now they aren’t able to plan very far ahead. She doesn’t want to go back to Ukraine while the war is still going on. Plus, the kindness she has found in the community here is overwhelming, so for now the family is staying with Tanya and counting their blessings. ”We are really blessed and thankful to be here. We are looking for chances to stay here for a long time.”