MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Russian airstrikes right now are an everyday reality for Ukrainians.
This week, a children’s hospital was destroyed. It’s heartbreaking for Memphis doctor Anthony Sheyn, who works with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, LeBonheur Children's Hospital and is an associate professor at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.
“Seeing playgrounds reduced to rubble and burned down cars it’s very, very, very tough,” said Dr. Sheyn.
Playgrounds like the ones he and his twin brother grew up playing at when they lived in Ukraine.
“I still have very vivid memories of growing up there and going on vacation,” said the surgeon. “It’s very, very hard. Seeing all that and now the western part of the country is involved as well and that’s where I grew up.”
After his family immigrated to the U.S. when he was 7, Sheyn, who came from a family of doctors, studied medicine. He specialized in treating children with trauma, cancer and sleep apnea.
He's now giving back to children from his home country.
“As large as that country is, there’s a big need to help those kids because unfortunately, disease such as cancer it doesn’t stop for war,” he explained.
Dr. Sheyn is part of a network of Ukrainian and Russian-speaking clinicians for people leaving Ukraine and going to different countries.
The biggest need? For pediatricians like Sheyn.
“These kids are still in the midst of their treatment, so any kind of activity or any kind of telehealth that we can help with to help guide those treatments to help them transition to other facilities and bordering countries like Poland would be extremely useful,” said the doctor.
He’s thankful to not be limited by geography or finances when it comes to helping children with medical needs all over the world.
“I think it’s basic humanity,” said Sheyn. “We saw that during the pandemic. People stepping up, people taking risks taking care of others I think in any kind of conflict the vast majority of us usually come together.”
Sheyn said he's doing what he can while serving his calling.