ORL Svetlana 1a

Svetlana is seen with her baby Helena and her sister, Olena, two months after her arrival from Ukraine. She fled Odessa seven months pregnant. Catholic Charities of Central Florida Familty Stability Services helped her find a doctor, obtain Medicaid, and supplies for her newborn.

ORLANDO  |  Svetlana and Ivan wanted to have another baby for years. The excitement at the news of her pregnancy was short lived as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began Feb 24, 2022.

Finishing her first trimester, the couple and their 10-year-old son decided to stay in Odessa as long as possible. Then, on April 23, Svetlana was in her ninth floor apartment when a cruise missile slammed into the building, exploding four stories beneath her and leaving portions of the third through fifth floors hollow. She ran from the explosion. 

ORL Svetlana 2

Svetlana is with her 10-year-old son as she holds a card proudly displaying that she is a Ukrainian citizen.

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