A family drove from Ayrshire to Ukraine to bring their pregnant daughter-in-law and grandson to Scotland.
Michael Marley made the 39 hour journey with with his wife Oksana and he says having to leave her son behind in the war-torn country was one of the most difficult things he’s had to do.
Mr Marley, who has previously spent 20 years in the military, made the decision to drive from Ardrossan to Odessa, which was under martial law, to bring Anna Chichur and her child back to Ayrshire.
Heavily-pregnant Anna’s husband, and Oksana Marley’s son, stayed behind to fight in the conflict and she said she is missing him badly.
The former fitness instructor, who is due to give birth to a baby girl in July, is praying that that her husband will be with her.
She said: “I miss my husband so much and I need him so much.
“We have one baby, six years old and one baby girl who will be born in July. I hope we will be together. I hope we will be together in Ukraine, when it’s peaceful with clear skies and no military.”
Michael and Oksana spent three days on the road crossing Europe, sleeping in car parks and taking turns to drive, stopping off at petrol stations for food and water.
Michael said despite his military experience “nothing prepares” you for when it is family involved.
He said: “I spent 20 years in the military but nothing prepares you when it’s your family.
“It was a difficult thing to do to leave him behind. But that was martial law. It was harder for his wife and mum but, very difficult.”
The family are adjusting to life in Scotland with young Leo getting set to start school in the country.
Anna said: “He said ‘I cannot understand these children on the playground and they can’t understand me’.
“It’s so difficult for him you know. I will prepare for my delivery in a maternity unit in Scotland but I live and pray every day for peace in my country.”
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