Orysya Masna, a student of the Social Work Program and a communicator of the Department for Contacts with UCU Alumni, from the start of the war helped bring seriously wounded soldiers back to life in a hospital in Lviv. She is now serving on the front lines as part of the volunteer medical battalion Hospitallers, which daily helps those on the front line most in need. The organization’s motto is “For the sake of every life.”
Masna joined the volunteer medical battalion at the end of May. With the start of the full-scale war, she volunteered in her hometown, Lviv. She helped refugees, then the wounded in the military hospital. At the same time, she was reviewing tactical medicine. She said that she knew she would go to the front as a medic.
Now Masna is on the front line with her team. “I plan to be here until victory. The Hospitallers are not a typical battalion. We are based at hot spots to quickly evacuate the wounded to hospitals,” she explained.
You can read in a short interview about what the Hospitallers do and the young lady’s motivation to become a paramedic on the front lines and plans after victory.
Orysya, what do you do in the Hospitallers volunteer medical battalion?
Our team’s task is to stabilize the wounded and evacuate them as quickly as possible to a hospital to provide professional medical help.
What most motivates you in this service?
The one thing that most motivates me in my work is to preserve the lives of those who are directly risking them on the field of war. If uninvited guests remain in my country, I can’t sit and watch how they “visit.”
What impresses you about volunteering?
In the war, and especially in the battalion, I am impressed by the sincere respect for one other. No one says: “You’re a woman. Go cook borshch.” There is a feeling of brotherhood. Everyone understands that any second a bomb could land and that’s the end. We often say to one another ‘happy birthday,’ because each day is worth gold. So I value time and people.
Please tell us about an interesting incident in your volunteering.
There are many funny and interesting incidents here. But I’ll recount one that raised the fighting spirit of the whole team and all the soldiers around. They gave our driver, Harry, white boxer shorts. I think that everyone understands that white boxer shorts are only for special days, certainly not for war. All my Instagram friends understood that Harry needed boxer shorts and gave him boxer shorts with a flower pattern and the words “He who has a large behind shoots the goats [Russians].” I thank the volunteers for your letters and comments!
What challenges do you face in your work on the front lines?
Material ones – connections, water, electricity. But all this isn’t as important as attachments to people with whom I become like family. We are brothers and sisters. Here we laugh together, train, fight, but maybe this person will be gone tomorrow. I try not to think about this.
How did studies at UCU influence your decision to volunteer?
I am very grateful to my program, Social Work, for the opportunity to volunteer in a military hospital. That’s where I decided that I wanted to be a military medic.
What are your plans after victory?
I plan to continue studying in the Social Work Program, start the master’s program in physical and occupational therapy at UCU, and then work in that field, maybe open a rehabilitation center for soldiers. I have a great hope that this will all happen.
We add that recently on the UCU site there were materials on the theme “To regain trust in yourself – How UCU students help refugees and the wounded in wartime,” in which Orysya Masna talked about serving in Lviv in wartime. You can watch the video.
You can support the activities of the volunteer medical battalion Hospitallers on their official site https://www.hospitallers.life/