Tennessee becomes first in US to receive young Ukrainian patients

More than 400 children with cancer have been evacuated
Posted at 5:46 AM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-23 07:31:16-04

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WTVF) — Hundreds of Ukrainian children with cancer have been evacuated to more than two dozen countries as the Russian invasion continues.

Several of them are now in Tennessee, the first state in the U.S. to receive patients from the Ukraine, with their families receiving treatment.

Four children and their families are now calling St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis their new home after safely arriving Tuesday from a clinic in Poland. Their ages range from 9 months to 9 years old.

Pictures captured the kids holding stuffed animals and Ukrainian flags as they walked into the hospital.

St. Jude plans to go above and beyond for the patients by providing complex medical care, as well as trauma-informed psychosocial therapy. The research hospital will also be developing school curriculum for the patients and their siblings.

St. Jude's is the first hospital in the U.S. to receive patients from Ukraine. President and CEO James Downing said they're honored to play a part in helping the families move to safety and continue treatment.

Over the past month, more than 400 Ukrainian children with cancer have been evacuated. So far, they've been placed in 200 hospitals in 28 countries.

First lady Jill Biden will be visiting St. Jude's on Friday to highlight the services that support pediatric cancer patients. Her office did not specifically mention if she would visit the patients from Ukraine.