Two “severely burned” toddlers from Ukraine were flown to the U.S. on an air ambulance for treatment and surgeries at a hospital in Boston.
One child is a 2-year-old girl from the country’s capital, Kyiv, and the other is a 17-month-old boy from western Ukraine, WHDH reported.
The toddlers, along with one parent accompanying them, arrived at Shriners Children’s Boston on Wednesday, April 20, according to a hospital news release.
“Due to the current state of affairs in Ukraine, the country’s medical infrastructure is understandably challenged,” John McCabe, the executive vice president of the Shriners Children’s health care system, said in a statement.
Their arrival comes as Russia continues to wage war in Ukraine after invading the country on Feb. 24. As of April 21, 2,345 Ukrainians have died in the conflict, including dozens of children, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
In Ukraine, the toddlers were similarly burned from boiling water unleashed by explosions in separate incidents, doctors said, according to WHDH.
McCabe detailed how the hospital is “uniquely positioned to help these children from Ukraine, because our physicians, nurses and therapists have extensive experience in providing care for children who suffer life-threatening burn injuries, including in natural disaster or other urgent situations.”
Shriners Children’s, which has several hospitals nationwide, has provided emergency care for Ukrainian children since the 1990’s, including “children affected by the Chernobyl disaster in 1986,” the release said.
The hospital “stands ready to care for more children from the region who can benefit from our specialized care,” Jerry Grantt, chairman of Shriner Children’s Board of Trustees, said in a statement.
The facility in Boston is “one of four of Shriners Children’s burn care facilities for children” and “the only verified pediatric burn center in New England,” according to the release.