San Diego woman hopes to help family trying to escape Ukraine

San Diego woman hopes to help family trying to escape Ukraine.jpg
Posted at 10:28 PM, Mar 13, 2022

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A local woman is desperately trying to help her family stuck in Ukraine.

She is hearing firsthand accounts of the destruction from loved ones.

"This is day three for them in this house. It feels really good to see them but I can see how exhausted they are," said Kateryna McIsaac, as she showed a photo of her loved ones in along their journey to safety.

Picture updates and phone calls are what McIsaac gets from her family stuck in the middle of the war in Ukraine.

"It's really, really devastating. It's really, really difficult. It's not something that anyone would've ever imagined happening," she explained.

Mcisaac is originally from Ukraine and moved to San Diego when she was 13.

The last time she visited her family was ten months ago- something she's now grateful for.

"It could've been for the last time," said McIsaac. "When they left their house, they were starting to smell smoke and that just forced them. They had no choice but to go."

Six of her family members were bombed out of Kharkiv.

The youngest is her eight-year-old nephew and the oldest is her eighty-three-year-old grandmother. McIsaac said her grandmother has been battling health issues and is now going through a second war in her lifetime.

"This war really took a big, big toll on her. Luckily, she's been able to stay very, very strong. Because she's been through war, she can detect how far are the explosions. She's been the biggest strength of our families," she said.

They are now taking a nearly 870-mile journey to Lviv so they can cross into Poland.

Along their journey to safety, they've had to sleep in places like shelters and schools.

"They're very, very afraid. They're afraid to go outside. They're afraid to go to the store. Every time they her a small sound they think it's another explosion. They're having a hard time sleeping through the night," said McIsaac.

The ultimate goal for her loved ones is to get to the u-s.

She said she's been in contact with immigration attorneys to see how she can get them here legally.

McIsaac has started a Gofundme to provide her family with money to start over with when they reach Poland.