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Ukrainian grandmother reunites with family in Palm Beach County

Posted at 7:06 PM, Apr 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-25 19:46:49-04

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — The family of a Ukrainian grandmother is overjoyed that she made it safely to Palm Beach County, after escaping her home country of Ukraine and traveling thousands of miles to come here to the United States.

Valentyna is thankful to be with her grandson Anatolii Vasylynych and his wife.

"She is my superhero now," said Anatolii Vasylynych.

Once the war started in ukraine, Anatolii Vasylynych made plans to have her rescued.

"I called to grandma and said be ready to move, we didn't have a choice and we will figure out with Andrea how to bring her here," he recalled.

The 82 year-old lived alone, but Anatolii Vasylynych had friends in Ukraine find a way to bring her to the border from Odessa.

"Grandma didn't speak English at all, so Andrea learned Russian, so they figured it out by hand talk," he said.

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Valentyna is thankful to be with her grandson Anatolii Vasylynych and his wife, Andrea.

Anatolii Vasylynych’s wife, Andrea, traveled to get his grandmother. It was two weeks of traveling to Turkey, Romania, Paris, Panama, then Colombia. From there, it was to Mexico crossing into Texas and finally, Florida.

"She's so happy and so proud because she has nobody else, she has just me," said Anatolii Vasylynych.

Valentyna looking back when she first saw her grandson after leaving Ukraine.

"She even cannot explain how happy she is when she turned because I came up behind her and I called her,” he said. “She started to hug me, kiss me, and cry. She's so happy."

"Even the next day, I remember waking up, walking downstairs and I look over and she really is here, this is it, this is reality," said Andrea Vasylynych.

The family is now able to spend some quality time together going to different places.

"My favorite superhero is Ironman, but now my superhero is my grandma, she's so strong. She's been through a lot," said Anatolii Vasylynych.

The family says they have an immigration court hearing next month to see if Valentyna will be granted asylum.