Four Ukrainian children whose critical cancer treatments were interrupted by Russia’s ongoing war in their home country received care again this week after being airlifted to a children’s hospital in Tennessee.

The young children and their families arrived at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis on Tuesday after being airlifted from Poland where they were receiving temporary care amid the violence, the State Department said. American, who helped transport them.

Video provided by St. Jude showed some of the children, aged 9 months to 9 years, smiling, waving Ukrainian flags and one carrying a Minnie Mouse backpack, as they entered the nonprofit hospital after their amazing journey. More children are expected to arrive as early as next week, a hospital spokesperson told HuffPost.

“Our promise to children with catastrophic illnesses extends around the world, and we are honored to play a role in helping these families get to safety to continue their children’s treatment,” said President and CEO. St. Jude executive James R. Downing in a statement.

Children are part of newly launched St. Jude’s SAFER Ukraine Program which aims to evacuate children with cancer from the Ukrainian war zone and provide them with ongoing cancer treatment at hospitals in Europe, the UK, Canada and now the US. patients arrived in the UK for treatment under the program.

St. Jude said more than 20 countries have offered to take in those patients.

“Organizers have sought to keep patients as close to home as possible to minimize disruption to their lives, but factors such as reduced availability of clinical space and patients’ advanced medical needs may necessitate sending children farther from home,” the hospital said of its geographic decisions.

The children, ages 9 months to 9 years, are among hundreds who have been evacuated from Ukraine over the past three weeks as part of St. Jude’s SAFER Ukraine program, the hospital said.

The international program was launched shortly after Russia began its February 24 invasion of Ukraine and has so far helped more than 600 patients, from translating medical records to transportation, the official said. ‘hospital.

In addition to medical care, children will receive trauma-informed psychosocial therapy to meet all of their psychological, social, emotional and cultural needs. Patients and their siblings will also receive a school curriculum developed by hospital educators, the hospital said.

The children first begin their journey at a triage center in the town of Bocheniec, Poland, where they are medically assessed and stabilized. Once the patients’ needs are met, they are transported to various cancer centers, although those in more serious condition may first receive stabilizing treatment at a local hospital in Poland before being discharged again, a said Dr Marcin Włodarski, a pediatric hematologist at St Jude, who works at the triage centre, said The Associated Press.

A Ukrainian pediatric cancer patient and her brother wave after arriving at Memphis International Airport with their mother, en route to St. Judge's Children's Research Hospital.
A Ukrainian pediatric cancer patient and her brother wave after arriving at Memphis International Airport with their mother, en route to St. Judge’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Doctors at the clinic, which is supported by several cancer and charity organisations, said they have received an influx of patients since the invasion began.

“Sometimes we can have convoys with only 20 patients, but we can have up to 70 patients at a time and even more,” Dr. Marta Salek, another St. Jude pediatric hematologist oncologist, told the triage center. Poland. PA.

More than 3.6 million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion began nearly four weeks ago, according to United Nations data, although the US government has so far only taken in several hundred Ukrainian refugees.

A girl is seen after arriving at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis.
A girl is seen after arriving at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

The US government has said it will help bring refugees to the US as a last resort if they are unable to find refuge in Europe, along with White House press secretary Jen Psaki. declaring on March 9 that it is believed that the “vast majority” of refugees would like to stay in neighboring countries.

the recognized department Tuesday that the four children flown to Memphis for cancer treatment “represent a small proportion” of the thousands of cancer patients whose treatment has been cut short due to the war.

“That is why, together with our allies and partners, we will continue to support our Ukrainian partners as we seek to save lives and end this unnecessary war,” he said.

A young Ukrainian girl with cancer is seen after arriving at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital with her family.
A young Ukrainian girl with cancer is seen after arriving at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with her family.