Football legend David Beckham has lent his Instagram account to a doctor in…to spotlight the “great work” of medical professionals providing care during the Russian invasion of the country.
The former England national team and star of Manchester United handed over his platform of more than 71 million followers to Iryna, the head of the regional perinatal center in Kharkiv, where she helps mothers give birth safely.
Iryna, who is identified only by her first name, gave a first-person account of what a day in her life looks like on Instagram Stories. Video clips showed her sitting next to new mothers, pregnant women and babies on oxygen generators donated by UNICEF. She said she works at the hospital “24/7 now” and “I’m here all day.”
In one of the videos, Iryna discussed how “difficult” the early days of the war in Ukraine were. She said that on the first day of the invasion, all the pregnant women were evacuated to the basement and they eventually got used to it.
“We had to learn to deal with bombings and strikes,” she said.
In addition to being the head of the center, Iryna said her duties include working as a pediatric anesthetist, unloading cargo, handling logistics and providing emotional support. She said there is no other place she and her staff would rather be.
“We’re probably risking our lives, but we don’t think about it at all,” she wrote. “We love our job.”
The social media campaign was part of an emergency fundraising appeal on behalf of UNICEF and Beckham, a goodwill ambassador for the humanitarian aid agency. Beckham’s “7 Fund” will help UNICEF “provide immediate aid, shelter, food and medical supplies to the most deprived in Ukraine”.
“Keep supporting these incredible people and charities like UNICEF in every way you can. Together we can really make a difference,” said Beckham.