Oksana's Journey to Health
In 2000, Kathy Shuttleworth, an RN from Balzac, volunteered with Medical Mercy Canada and went to Ukraine on a medical humanitarian mission. There, in the village of Kupchentsi, she met little Oksana Oliynyk. Only four years old, Oksana had been plagued with life threatening cardiac issues for most of her young life.
Kathy recognized the need and set the wheels in motion. In the months that followed, approximately $140,000 was raised under the auspices of Medical Mercy Canada.
In 2002, Oksana made her first of three medical visits to Alberta for heart surgeries. The life changing procedure was carried out in Calgary by Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Michael Giuffre and by Dr Ivan Rebeyka of Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton. Oksana’s last heart surgery was performed in 2011 and in July 2013 she came to Calgary for her latest routine check-up. There is no way to know what would have become of Oksana Oliynyk had she not met Kathy Shuttleworth. What is known is that, because of Kathy and the generous supporters of Medical Mercy Canada, she is doing very well both physically and academically.
Today, there are still many “Oksanas” in under-developed countries around the World. Unfortunately, there are never enough “Kathy Shuttleworths” to go around! But Medical Mercy continues its effort to brighten the lives of those with health challenges through community education, improved access to treatment and response to emergency situations, supporting local resources inadequate to meet the need.