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13th Apr 2022

Brave doctor drives third ambulance to Ukraine days after last one was shelled

Charlie Herbert

Welsh doctor drives ambulance to Ukraine

The ambulance crossed the border into Ukraine on Sunday night

A doctor from Wales has driven an ambulance to Ukraine as part of efforts to help the country, just days after another of his ambulances was shelled by Russian forces.

It’s the third emergency vehicle that Dr Aled Jones has helped donate to Ukraine, with more set to be delivered.

Dr Jones, who lives in Cardiff, drove the first two NHS ambulances from Merthyr Tydfil to London, where they were handed over to humanitarian charity British-Ukrainian Aid, who then drove them all the way to war-torn Ukraine.

But the brave doctor decided to drive the third ambulance to Ukraine himself, setting off on Friday evening and crossing the border into Ukraine on Sunday night, WalesOnline reports.

This is despite the fact that the first ambulance he donated was hit by a missile in the city of Mikolaiv.

So along with vital medical supplies, Dr Jones also packed the third ambulance with spare parts to repair the damaged vehicle.

These were donated by Euro Commercials, a Swansea-based Mercedes-Benz car dealer.

The doctor has been documenting his journey on Instagram, with his fundraising efforts in aid of ‘Ambulances for Ukraine.’

‘Ambulances for Ukraine’ is a GoFundMe campaign set up in March by Dr Mateo Szmidt, an emergency medicine consultant at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil. He had heard of a similar initiative in Poland and decided to set up his own, planning to drive a decommissioned ambulance full of vital supplies to Ukraine.

But with more than £27,000 having been donated, well above his expectations, they have been able to buy six ambulances.

Speaking about his journey across Ukraine, Dr Aled said there were “military checkpoints and sandbags everywhere” and that it took him four hours to pass through the “Soviet-style” Ukrainian border.

Spending two nights in Drohobych, he described the Ukrainian people as “incredibly welcoming,” adding: “They were giving me great hospitality and food and things – and I felt guilty accepting hospitality from them.”

Dr Szmidt said that they want to keep growing the fundraising efforts “especially now with news coming in that everything is being shifted to the east in terms of the conflict.” 

“We want to get as much stuff out there before Russia has a chance to regroup and the conflict intensifies,” he said.

You can find out more information about ‘Ambulances for Ukraine’ and donate to the campaign by visiting the GoFundMe page here.

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