Ukrainian nurse in Bemidji has family join her with coworkers’ help

A Sanford nurse from Ukraine who now lives in Bemidji, Minnesota, is reunited with her family after coworkers raise $3,000 dollars to bring them to the United States.

BEMIDJI, Minn. (KVRR)- A Sanford Health nurse from Ukraine who now lives in Bemidji is reunited with her family after coworkers raise $3,000 to bring them to the United States.

“I was just crying and every single day, probably every hour, and my colleagues were just so supportive and we just couldn’t believe that it was happening in the 21st century,” Olha Finnelly said.

Olha Finnelly was concerned about her family they were suffering.

“My little niece was three-and-a-half. She started having those panic attacks and just extremely when the sirens would pop on in the middle of our conversations,” said Finnelly.

Her Sanford Health coworkers stepped up to raise 3,000 dollars to get them to the states.

“I never could imagine that I will find my family by choice in Bemidji Minnesota. They’re my family, my colleagues and my friends. My American family,” Finnelly said.

Her family made the move across the Atlantic.

“So, it took for them about 22 hours to get to Poland. Technically they walked through the border with backpacks, cause you’re not allowed. “Well… you can but you know when you’re in such a rush and you understand that you have that much space in the train where 16 people were in the same room which is supposed to which supposedly only fits four people. And who knows what would happen if a Russian missile would hit this train? Just hundreds of people would die,” said Finnelly.

Since Finnelly’s family reached America, they look forward to exploring their new surroundings.

“We will try to go to the state park and all this hiking, and bike and stuff me and my husband usually do. I’m going to introduce them to Minnesota. That would be a lot of fun for them,” Finnelly said.

She does still have family fighting in the conflict in Ukraine.

“You guys are awesome and we are praying for you, and you definitely will win this battle and I send all my mental support to you,” Finnelly said.

Categories: Community, Local News, Minnesota News