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Irish-Polish medical company travels to Ukraine border to try to help get Carlow student Racheal Diyaoly home


Racheal Diyaolu

Racheal Diyaolu

Racheal Diyaolu

An Irish-Polish student recruitment company is heading to the Polish Ukrainian border to help get Carlow medical student Rachael Diyaolu back home.

Medical Poland said its admissions team was in contact with her family and would be collecting Rachael at the border.

Racheal is currently travelling by car to the Polish border after an evacuation attempt to get her out of Ukraine failed over the weekend.

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The teenage medical student had been trapped in the university city Sumy, which has been heavily bombarded by Russian forces recently.

Medical Poland said it had engaged a senior trainee psychotherapist, and holistic life coach to support Rachel and her family with practical tools to calm down, feel safe and build resilience when she is back home.

Adam Krawczyk, who is head of Medical Poland, said as most of its team was based in Poland, they are more than happy to provide free accommodation and food to students heading home from Ukraine.

The company, which was founded in Ireland, said it was also talking to numerous Polish medical schools in an attempt to help students progress in their medical education.

Artur Banaszkiewicz, who is head of student counselling at the company, said they were hoping to help those students continue their medical journey at Polish or Irish universities.

This morning, Ms Diyaolu and a group of students were collected by two Scottish men who drove them out of the city.

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Her sister Christiana said they contacted the men who are called “Gary and Joe” through their TikTok page “ready2rocklandscaping” and the men agreed to take Rachel and her friends out of Sumy.

Joseph McCarthy has been posting regular video updates on their social media page of their efforts to take people out of the war torn country.

“They attempted to do it yesterday and unfortunately on their way to Sumy they met some Russian soldiers who were not very happy with their travel, and they fired at them and basically halted the entire mission,” Christiana Diyaolu told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme.

“Lucky they were able to find an alternative route into Sumy and stayed there overnight and then continue there mission this morning.”

Christiana confirmed that that convoy carrying her sister is heading towards the western city Liviv, which is almost 1,000 kilometres away.

Speaking on the same programme, Racheal Diyaolu said the journey takes 17 hours normally, but they expect it will take at least 20 hours given the current circumstances.

She said fighting in Sumy worsened in recent days and she was forced leave behind many friends and most of her belongings.

“I’m fine, just trying to stay in high spirits that we’ll make it to Poland,” she said.

“It hasn’t been possible for me to even attempt to leave in the last week or so. There have been no avenues that I knew of that would safely get me out of the city and into a border. This is my second attempt at moving in the last two days.”

Her sister Christiana added that her family are very relieved that Racheal is finally leaving Sumy and they will meet her in Poland if necessary and then bring her home to Carlow.

“We’re so, so happy, and just hoping for the best - fingers crossed.

“We’re willing to even head to Poland once we know she’s there and bring her home.

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