Ever since Rosanna Davison’s surrogate, Anastasiia Berezan, gave birth to her baby girl, Sophia, she’s always wanted to give her something more than money to say thank you.
Helping her flee the invasion of Ukraine was just that.
Ms. Berezan gave birth to Davison and her husband’s firstborn, Wesley Quirke, in 2019 at a Kyiv hospital.
Two and a half years later, she told Irish County Magazine she never imagined she would have to flee her home country and start a new life in Ireland.
Ms Berezan lives with her daughter Milana, 5, her partner Katya and her husky Layla in a Dublin flat owned by Rosanna’s parents.
The Irish model and her husband chose a surrogate in Ukraine after suffering 15 miscarriages and while she said it was “nerve-wracking” to watch a stranger carry her baby, it was the best gift ever she ever received and now she and Anastasiia (Nastia) have a close bond.
“It was a quick labor and delivery and I remember after that Sophia was taken to be weighed and cleaned and I just turned to Nastia and yelled ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’.
“I just remember thinking if there’s ever anything we could do to pay her back… It doesn’t feel right to just give her a check and go, it doesn’t feel personal enough.” .
“It’s kind of extraordinary to think back to that moment and how the story unfolded and how we’re in this situation.”
Rosanna thought she would never see Nastia again because despite agreeing to carry another baby for her in January 2020, the former Miss World model incredibly discovered this spring that she was pregnant with twins.
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However, on February 24 this year, the day Russia invaded Ukraine, Rosanna said she was “in shock” and knew she had to help Nastia and her family.
“On the day of the invasion I was in complete shock and disbelief. I was sick of worrying about her,” she said.
“Wes and I turned around and said we have to help Nastia. What she did for us and our family, she gave us the greatest gift anyone could give and now we have to help her.”
With the help of a translator, Nastia recalled the day the war began.
“My dad called us at 6am, it was so early that we missed it, but when he called again he told us to collect some things – warm clothes, money and get out of our apartment,” she told the Irish County Magazine.
“We decided to go to Katya’s grandmother because she has a basement, so we took some food and stuff with us, and Milana, Katya, Layla and I spent the first week in her basement.
“The first week was very scary, there were a lot of explosions. We went to the market and the prices were 3 or 4 times what they were before, it was very scary.”
Nastia and her family then decided to flee their native city of Kherson, and their long journey to Ireland began. It wasn’t until mid-April that they managed to catch a flight to Dublin.
“When I was in Poland Rosanna said to me ‘You are welcome in Ireland, we are waiting for you here’ but we didn’t really know how to get to Ireland from Poland, also we had a dog so the situation was complicated. ”
They made it to Germany, and then Rosanna’s father, Chris De Burgh, put her in touch with a friend who was a pilot in Germany.
“If they hadn’t had Layla, getting her on a plane and to Dublin would have been really easy, but it was the logistics of getting a husky on a plane,” Rosanna said.
“I contacted the Ministry of Agriculture, we had to organize a crate for the dog, an appointment with the vet – that was a big logistical challenge. Nastia was great, she must have been exhausted at that point.”
Since arriving in Ireland, Nastia’s daughter is now preparing to start primary school in September and her partner Katya has a job as a cook at a nearby hotel.
“I’m very grateful [to Rosanna and Wesley] for everything they did,” said Nastia.
“I can’t even find the words to describe what it was like when we got here. From day one they have helped us a lot.
“I helped them some time ago and now they are helping me. We are very fortunate to know people like her.
“I hope we will always be friends.”
Rosanna added: “I kept thinking back to the day in the hospital she gave birth to Sophia and thought I wish I could give her something more.
“When the invasion started, I said this was our way of saying thank you. There was no way we could help her.”
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/she-gave-us-the-greatest-gift-you-can-give-someone-now-we-have-to-help-her-rosanna-davison-on-helping-her-surrogate-flee-ukraine-41915576.html “She gave us the greatest gift anyone could give, now we have to help her” – Rosanna Davison on helping her surrogate escape Ukraine