Since arriving in Ireland from Ukraine, Tetiana Fitzpatrick has been “surrounded by love and care,” however she is “unable to live a normal life” and is consistently on her cellphone, awaiting information from her household in Mariupol, whom she has not heard from in two weeks.
“It is tearing my heart apart. I have no idea if they are alive or not,” the 34-year-old says of her father Volodymr (63) and grandfather Alexander (89).
The final name Ms Fitzpatrick obtained from her kinfolk was on the February twenty seventh, three days after Russia invaded Ukraine.
By then Ms Fitzpatrick, who has been married to an Irish man since 2014, had already fled Ukraine together with her six-month-old child boy Stefan, her mom and her canine.
Ms Fitzpatrick is from Mariupol however has lived in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, for a number of years.
“My husband works in Georgia at the moment, so I lived there with my mom and my baby. We had a very lovely and comfortable life there,” she mentioned.
But on the morning of the February twenty fourth, the household woke to the sound of shelling.
“We didn’t know what was happening but we knew something was obviously wrong. My first instinct was to go get some food from the supermarket for my baby, and the streets were already more crowded than I’ve ever seen them,” she mentioned.
“People were already carrying their luggage and there was huge traffic on the road. The supermarket was full of people panicking and buying things. I was under such stress and I couldn’t process what I should do.”
All my ideas had been about holding my child secure. So on February twenty fifth we determined we would have liked to depart
Ms Fitzpatrick known as her husband to make a plan to flee Ukraine.
“At that time, it seemed like the right decision would be to stay and see what happens, because we were terrified to be on the roads with bad traffic in case of shelling,” she mentioned.
“But I realised I could not sleep or eat because of the fear. We didn’t have a proper shelter nearby. All my thoughts were about keeping my baby safe. So on the 25th we decided we needed to leave.”
Ms Fitzpatrick packed a bag of child meals and toys.
“I didn’t take anything for myself. We had 30 minutes to get ready. Some friends took me, my mom, my baby and my dog with them in the car. We left Kyiv under shelling. It was horrifying and a very stressful journey,” she recalled.
It took the group 28 hours to succeed in the Slovakian border, a journey that in regular circumstances would take roughly 12 hours.
“There was no fuel available so we were really lucky that my friend had enough. We got over the border a bit quicker because we had a small baby, and my husband met us there.”
Just a few days later, Ms Fitzpatrick made her approach to Ireland, the place she is staying together with her parents-in-law in Dublin.
Her mom went on to Poland to stick with buddies, attributable to problem discovering transport for his or her canine.
“She is safe. But I still have family in Mariupol. It is breaking my heart,” she mentioned, preventing again tears.
An overwhelming feeling of powerlessness has engulfed Ms Fitzpatrick for the 2 weeks since she arrived in Ireland.
We are ethnically Russian and have a number of kinfolk in Russia however we selected to remain in Ukraine. That is our selection
She is following alerts on an app, Telegram, the place she got here throughout images of the grocery store exterior her grandfather’s home, utterly burned down.
Alexander was born in Russia throughout the nation’s nice famine, and lived by the second World War there, earlier than transferring to Ukraine within the Sixties to work in a manufacturing unit.
“We are ethnically Russian and have a lot of relatives in Russia but we chose to stay in Ukraine. That is our choice. But my grandfather always thought of the Russians as his brothers,” she mentioned.
Now she thinks of him “on his own, if he is alive, in a cold apartment without electricity, while his city is destroyed by people he considered brothers. I hate to think of how hard it must be for him.”
“The city has been destroyed. The university I went to has been burned down, churches and hospitals have burned down. The Russians have no shame, and they have no mercy.”
“I am just praying every day for some information about my family, and that they will be evacuated.”