Retired British soccer superstar David Beckham handed over his Instagram and Facebook accounts to a Ukrainian doctor on Sunday, March 20th, to highlight the “amazing work” that she and other health workers are doing in the besieged city of Kharkiv.
Beckham, a Unicef ambassador, has a combined 127.5 million followers on Instagram and Facebook.
In an effort to raise funds for families and children in Ukraine through UNICEF, the doctor, identified as Irina Kondratova, shared she was the head of Kharkiv’s regional prenatal center.
Kharkiv is six hours from Ukraine and the country’s second-largest city.
“Today I’m going to show you how we work in times of war and who we have become during these war days,” she said on Beckham’s Instagram account with 71.6 million followers.
Kondratova said on the first day of the attacks, all pregnant people and mothers were evacuated to the basement of the hospital where they spent three “terrible” hours together and walked through the small corridors where the patients slept.
Babies in the intensive care unit hooked up to life-saving equipment could not come, another clip said.
“The first days were the most difficult. We had to learn how to work with bombings and strikes,” a caption read while she was checking a baby being held by a woman.
In another clip, Kondratova said she now works 24/7 and also helps unload cargo, work on logistics, and offers emotional support.
Through a series of photos of women and their babies, Kondratova said the funds from UNICEF were very important. For example, donated generators help provide oxygen to children in the basement.
“We are probably risking our lives, but we don’t think about it at all,” she said. “We love our work.”
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On Instagram, Beckham urged his followers to donate to UNICEF and check his story to learn what other health care workers are doing to save lives in Ukraine.