Three metro Atlanta men helping Ukraine

Emory Morsberger (right) delivered three Stryker drills to a hospital in Kyiv.

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Emory Morsberger (right) delivered three Stryker drills to a hospital in Kyiv.

Three metro Atlanta men are leading efforts to send much-needed medical supplies to war-torn Ukraine.

In February, when the Russian invasion began, Buckhead Rotary Club board member Radu Zernoveanu knew he wanted to do something to help the neighboring country of his home country of Romania.

Zernoveanu and his father, who are both a part of Rotary International, decided to join together to help Ukraine however they could. Zernoveanu’s father is also a part of a Rotary Club in Romania.

“It was pretty shocking for us,” Radu Zernoveanu said. “We’re talking about a country that is neighboring us. The distance to the actual bombings is less than the distance from here to Chicago, from our house, back home in Romania, so it was very emotionally impactful.”

Zernoveanu made connections with other rotary clubs in the metro area and joined forces with Emory Morsberger and Chris Brand. Morsberger is the current president of Tucker’s Summit Community Improvement District, and Brand is president and CEO of Friends of Disabled Adults and Children.

“It truly was like a breath of fresh air because we realized that the collaboration that we can put together can truly bring significant value to the needs there locally in Ukraine,” Zernoveanu said.

Over the past few months, through fundraising and connections in the community, the men have been able to successfully send medical supplies and thousands of ready-to-eat meals to 14 hospitals in Ukraine. The fundraising has also allowed the men to pay for the supplies to be transported by Delta and UPS.

The cost of each flight varies, but is typically between $17,000 and $25,000, Zernoveanu said.

The hospitals have asked for several items including pediatric incubators, surgery drill sets, wound care and respiratory supplies, Brand said. The hospitals also need medications, which are a little harder to send due to restrictions and expiration dates, Zernoveanu said.

The men have not just sent items, but Morsberger also traveled to Ukraine this month to show support and hand-deliver essential medical supplies to three hospitals. Morsberger delivered three Stryker surgical drills, which costs about $12,000 each, to a hospital in Kyiv.

“I was amazed at the unity of the Ukrainian people and their willingness to work together with each other,” Morsberger said. “I mean, they’re one, and they’re determined to win.”