Sourcing Much Needed and Hard to Find Equipment for Kharkiv Hospital

December 4, 2022
Mariya Petukhova

I want to demo how the Mirror Stream makes a real difference for Kharkiv, Ukraine; where our edge is.

In early October, one of the volunteers connected me with a surgeon at one of the Kharkiv hospitals to see if there was any medical equipment that I could find for them on dotmed platform.

The surgeon told me that they have a really urgent need in <certain equipment>* and that it was challenging both to find it and to pay for it. They managed to find it but the sponsor disappeared. I couldn’t pay for it either, so I offered to write a letter on behalf of the hospital and sent it out to the organizations who might donate such equipment.

Almost a month later, on November 8th, the surgeon wrote to me asking if there were any news on this equipment because 1. they pretty much ran out and 2. they couldn’t find it anywhere any longer. I didn’t have any news. We spoke at 8:42am. By the most extraordinary coincidence, at 10am on the same day I have received a notification of a $1000** donation from a former colleague who asked to remain anonymous. This sum would cover the most of the price of the equipment so at 11:18am I sent the first inquiries about the equipment – to the sales HQ of the manufacturer in Poland and North America. I thought maybe they would give the nonprofit a discount so that $1000 would be enough. Overall I ended up sending 20 emails by noon – to every company I could find online that dealt with the sought equipment.

On the next day I received the first (and only, as it turned out) response (further research showed that these things were out of stock pretty much everywhere). The cost was $1400. They had no discounts but they would ship for free and wouldn’t charge sales tax. That was great but I was still $400 short and at no capacity to raise it.

And that’s when another extraordinary thing happened. I have received a check in the mail for $2000*** as a donation to my nonprofit. This person is a relative of my friends, who took Ukrainian fight to heart. We haven’t met, I was simply recommended to him by my friends.

On November 22nd, two weeks later, I received the equipment. When I sent a picture to the surgeon in Kharkiv, he couldn’t believe it: “It’s them!!! Thank you so much!!!”. I am adding a picture of the machine for which these mounting pads are. It’s a heart lung machine Sorin Stöckert S5****. Without these pads machine cannot be used. Without the machine, cardiopulmonary bypass surgeries cannot be performed.
They arrived two days before my friend Kostya’s departure for Ukraine. He delivered them directly to the hospital on November 29th.

While I am bragging, there is a point to it. Some fonds and volunteers have the reach and the pull to raise substantial resources and/or have a member with substantial resources. I am not them. Some, through their professional affiliations, have direct access to donors of the supplies. I am not them either. Some people have only their time and skills to donate. With this story I am trying to demo what skills we bring to the table.

We are good at finding stuff (online or locally) that are hard to find (once I found a radiator for 2014 Chevy Spark EV that pretty much existed in only one instance online and delivering it to Ukraine within 10 days. I am good at writing inquiries (and doing it quickly) and establishing the relationship, the followthrough, and making time to do it all. I am good at getting shit done. Having a nonprofit, allows me to engage organizations that otherwise would not. Unfortunately, without financial resources getting shit done is not possible. Without your support, there is not much we can do. Please, spread the word. I have registered on, but we won’t get rated until March. Can use some help right now.

Thankful for all of you and your support.

* The name and the catalogue number of the equipment was not given to me; I did research and found it myself

**I have received a donation of that magnitude only twice before

*** The largest monetary donation I have received to date

****A heart-lung machine allows the surgeon to carefully stop the heart while still maintaining blood circulation. The machine consists of a pump, which functions as the heart, and an oxygenator, which replaces the function of the lungs.