Plane full of medical supplies from Tennessee will head to Poland

Medical supplies for Ukraine
Posted at 3:24 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 19:48:37-04

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — There’s a push to get life-saving medical supplies to Poland and Ukraine.

The images from a shelled maternity hospital in Ukraine are hard to fathom. A pregnant woman who was pictured on a stretcher didn't survive, according to the Associated Press. Now, the United Nations reports that life-saving medical supplies are running dangerously low in the country. In addition, some clinics don't have needed medicine.

"We are currently working with them to provide humanitarian relief to the Ukraine," Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said.

Gov. Lee and local leaders put out a message to local hospitals and medical supply companies for help.

Melinda Poston — who is the director of materials management at Cookeville Regional Medical Center — responded to the call for action.

"It’s almost unbearable to witness, so I could not imagine being there experiencing what those people are going through," Poston said. "I feel like I’m here on this earth is to be a servant. I feel like I have a servant’s heart."

Poston helped pack boxes with things like baby formula and wound dressing supplies.

"We sent over a lot of pediatric catheters,” Poston said.

Once the C-130 from Poland lands, guardsmen will load it up, and send it back.

Poston said following the 2020 tornado, Cookeville received an influx of aid, so they wanted to pay it forward.

"We’re all pretty exhausted and feel a little bit beat up emotionally, and so I think our empathy level is at an all-time high.” Poston said. “And just seeing what’s been happening on the news over there, knowing what we got from the community when we were in turmoil, and going through strife ourselves."

According to UNICEF, 80,000 women in Ukraine are expected to give birth in the next three months.

The World Health Organization has documented 31 attacks on healthcare facilities. The Prosecutor General's Office in Ukraine believes 85 children have been killed in the conflict as of March 13.

Leaders are calling it 'an unconscionable cruelty.'