The brave daughter, who rescued her mother and 99-year-old grandmother from Ukraine, is expected home today after Stena Line responded to an application to secure a ferry booking.
The conclusion of an incredible 6,000km round trip concludes tonight when Luba Healy and her family return to Trim, Co. Meath.
Luba, her husband Eugene, their teenage son Francis and friend Diarmuid Dawson traveled across Europe in a camper van and a jeep last week to bring their 70-year-old mother Nina and 99-year-old grandmother Galina from the war-torn country rescue.
They also rounded up five adult neighbours, a four-year-old girl and three dogs last Monday to bring to Ireland as a sanctuary.
However, due to constant stops to check Galina’s health, the convoy missed a ferry back last Wednesday and had feared it would have to wait until next Tuesday to get another booking.
They had feared that additional delays could have a negative impact on Galina’s health.
Their attempts to contact ferry companies were answered by automated services and after struggling to find someone to speak to for help, they issued a media appeal to take them home.
The appeal was answered by Stena Line, which made every effort to accommodate the large group on the Cherbourg to Rosslare night ferry free of charge and with meals.
Ahead of today’s docking, Luba said she was really looking forward to bringing her family home and seeing her baby daughter Hannah Rose and son Harrison, who the couple left with friends in Trim.
“We are all very tired. Our faces are tired but we are so happy to finally be home. The end is in sight and I can’t wait to bring Grandma and Mama back to Trim
“The boys at home turned our playroom into a downstairs room for grandma, with a special bed and mattress and all.
“I can’t wait to see my daughter and little son. I missed her so much.
“There are so many people we would like to thank for helping us on this journey, but we are very grateful to Stena Line for answering our call. They absolutely couldn’t do enough for us and everyone was fantastic.
“Nana and many of the ladies with us have never been on a ferry so it’s an experience for them.”
In a statement, Stena Line communications manager Simon Palmer said: “As a company, we made the decision early in the conflict to allow free travel for Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war. We’ve helped thousands since the conflict broke out and we believe it’s the right thing for a company like ours to do.
“We also provide free transport for humanitarian aid from NGOs and charities in conjunction with the Polish authorities in Belfast and Dublin.
“It’s especially gratifying to help someone like Luba’s grandmother who at 99 has been through so much in her long life and may be the oldest person to have ever traveled with us.”
Luba left Trim last Saturday morning after finally persuading her mother and grandmother to leave their home in Haivoron and come to Ireland.
Ever since the Russian invasion began, Luba had constantly called her mother, not knowing if she would speak to her again the next day.
Apart from a visit to Crimea at the age of 28, Galina never left Ukraine and was wheeled into air-raid shelters by Nina in a wheelbarrow, which she then carried down to the basement on her back.
After the emotional reunion, Luba said she could now “breathe and sleep again.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/daughter-who-rescued-mum-and-granny-from-ukraine-due-back-home-today-after-ferry-company-answers-appeal-for-help-41649368.html Daughter who rescued mother and grandma from Ukraine is set to return home today after the ferry company answered the call for help