The Shenandoah endocrinologist grew up in Kyiv, Ukraine
A local doctor who grew up in Ukraine is helping to amplify the voices of the need from the medical community there.
Memorial Hermann Endocrinologist Dr. Kateryna Komarovskiy grew up in Ukraine, survived Chernobyl, and graduated from medical school there.
Now, she is hoping to help her homeland and spread hope and resources during another dark chapter in Ukraine’s history.
Komarovskiy knows the meaning of Ukraine’s flag — a flag that bears the country’s core values.
“Behind Ukraine’s color, it’s essentially skies and fields, wheat fields,” Komarovskiy said. “We have no blood on our flag. We have no red. It’s a very peaceful nation. They do want to work to live off of the prosperity that they produce.”
Peaceful, loving people who are now forced to defend the earth from which they prospered, showing the world a kind of resolve that inspires hope as well as heartbreak and tears.
Komarovskiy is doing all she can to help amplify the voices of her friends, colleagues and former classmates.
She grew up in Kyiv, graduated from medical school there, and survived the explosion of the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl. She has been through a lot.
“I lived in Kyiv, and yes, Chernobyl happened. My mom gave me iodine to protect my thyroid and we had to leave Kyiv three days later,” Komarovskiy said. “I had to live nine months away from my family.”
She did her residency in New York and her fellowship in Kentucky. Komarovskiy is a fourth-generation doctor in her family. Her mother and Chernobyl inspired her to be an endocrinologist.
In 2011, she moved to Texas and set up her practice a few years later in Shenandoah. She also worked with Memorial Hermann. In Komarovskiy’s Shenandoah office, there sits a very meaningful figurine, which was gifted to her by a patient.
“A figurine crying over Ukraine into sunflowers,” Komarovskiy said.
Sunflowers are Ukraine’s national flower. In many ways, this figurine represents the feeling of Komarovskiy and her fellow Ukrainians. This war is personal.
“We just need this to stop. It really breaks my heart,” Komarovskiy said. Komarovskiy keeps in touch with her medical colleagues and former classmates there through an online messenger app. She showed KPRC2 some of their old photos in a yearbook from 2001.
“That’s me when I was graduating from medical school. These would be our teachers. This is the actual building [of the medical school],” Komarovskiy said to KPRC2′s Rose-Ann Aragon.
Komarovskiy showed KPRC a photo of an old classmate now doing work to save lives right now.
“These are my classmates,” she said. “He’s working a military hospital operating now.”
Komarovskiy continues to advocate for the community to help send supplies and donations. She has also put out a call for medical supplies.
“Painkillers, wound care, stronger antibiotics,” Komarovskiy listed.
She also shared the experience of the first-hand account of those who are still in Ukraine right now.
“A lot of people in Kyiv, their nerves are at the limit,” Komarovskiy said. “The elderly feel like they’re re-living World War II (and) younger adults also by now are exhausted. In the beginning, it was more excitement, but now they’re very tired. For children, we can only imagine what they’re going through.”
She said she’s heard of many families who are broken apart… mothers are looking for their husbands and children.
“The hope is that this is all going to end as soon as possible,” Komarovskiy said. “The trauma will always remain, but they want this to end as soon as possible.”
She organized a page on her medical practice website where people who are hoping to donate supplies or money can partake. She also offered a message of hope to those still fighting. She said they are not alone.
“[Ukraine] got rebuilt. It will be rebuilt. It will be beautiful again,” Komarovskiy said.