By Milan Perera, Deputy Editor
University of Bristol graduate Katherine Mielniczuk, 26, who served as a combat medic on the Ukrainian frontlines was found dead in her bed on Christmas Eve.
Katherine, a chemistry graduate from the University of Bristol, was one of the first members of the university’s Ukrainian Society when it was founded in 2018.
Katherine served as a combat medic in Ukraine for 18 months after volunteering in the war-torn country.
Her body was found on Christmas Eve in the capital Kyiv by the 151st unit of the Special Operations Forces.
The cause of her death is currently unknown and is not being treated as suspicious.
Her family who lives in Westerham, Kent, released a statement on the death of their daughter.
They said: ‘She devoted her life to helping others, as a medic, as a scientist and researcher, and as a friend. She volunteered her last 18 months in Ukraine, working in logistical aid and as a combat medic all over the country.’
On the kindness and selflessness Katherine showed throughout her life, the family added: ‘It is impossible to truly convey what an incredible woman Katherine was or how deeply and widely she was loved and will be missed. Kasia is gone, but the endless warmth, love and grace she brought to the world will never be lost.’
During her time as a combat medic volunteer in Ukraine, Katherine made several fundraiser appeals for medical supplies for the forces fighting on the frontline.
Following Katherine’s death, her friends and colleagues took to social media to express their shock and sorrow.
One of her friends, Scott, said: ‘She was such an interesting person. Wickedly smart beyond her years.’
Another friend, Nick, said in a social media post: '[...] life can only become precious when you decide to give unto others more thank you give unto yourself. Katherine Mielniczuk was someone who always taught me as much.’
Her efficiency in providing medical supplies and emergency care to injured military personnel by travelling to the most dangerous stretches of the frontline earned her the nickname ‘Apache’.
Shortly before her death, on December 23, she posted on Facebook: ‘The mental, physical, financial consequences of war are catastrophic and a kind word can hold tremendous power for us when we are losing hope and seeing tragedies daily.’
Following Katherine’s sudden and unexpected death, the University of Bristol Ukrainian Society stated: ‘Katherine Mielniczuk, who was one of the first members of our society back in 2018, has passed away. She travelled to Ukraine as a medic volunteer and gave more than two years of service towards Ukraine. We hope you can join us in prayer for her soul and family, as she has done a lot for our beloved country.’
To support the repatriation of Katherine’s remains and cover funeral costs a donorbox page was set up.
Featured image: Mielniczuk family
Bristol University offers support to anyone affected by international conflicts.
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