GRAVETTE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA)- “He saved me three months if not more, and this is probably why and because I’ll be able to see my mom,” says Gravette resident and Ukrainian native Elina Mahmens.
She has been in the United States for the last 12 years but now getting on a plane and headed back to Ukraine to try and save her mom, who was diagnosed with cancer just days before Russia invaded.
This may not have been possible if U.S. Senator Tom Cotton didn’t step in to expedite her passport.
“All the government officials and state representatives, they did represent our interest to the fullest extent they could,” says Elina.
Elina says she hasn’t been able to sleep thinking about her mom possibly dying alone in a war zone at a hospital short on supplies.
She says going to save her mom was an easy decision. Her husband and two children will be back home in Arkansas, supporting her in every way they can.
“I’m feeling pretty anxious and pretty scared. One of the most precious things in my life is leaving to basically a war zone,” says Robert Mahmens.
“I took a couple of their little pieces of clothing just to feel like I am still home when I’m there because I know that will be probably the hardest,” says Elina.
Elina has never spent a night away from her children, but she said she’s prepared for what’s ahead and hopeful for the best.
“It’s still can be changed. My mom can get out of hospice, and we can at least transfer her to a safer location where she can spend the rest of her days and doesn’t have to listen for the sirens every single day,” says Elina.