LITTLETON, Colo. (KDVR) — A Colorado couple is reunited after escaping bombings in Ukraine, then facing a number of roadblocks to get a visa for the wife’s disabled mother.
Home has a whole new meaning for Jack MacBride, his wife Tanya Quillen and their newest housemate, Quillen’s 81-year-old mother, Svitlana.
FOX31 first introduced viewers to the three in March after Quillen and her disabled mother physically crossed the border from Odesa to Ukraine. They’ve had to cross a lot of roadblocks since then to get back home to Littleton. Friday, they officially made it back.
“I still can’t believe I’m here,” Quillen said. “Praise God, it is a good result.”
Quillen, originally from Ukraine, went back to her hometown of Odesa in June to take care of her mother, who suffered a stroke at 80 years old. Her mother’s home is half a mile from the Odesa airport by a military base.
A week into the attacks, a friend told MacBride about a group called Project Dynamo that is helping Ukrainian refugees cross the border. The group helped Quillen and her mother get to Romania.
Escaping Ukraine to face months of procedure
After the escape came more than two months of documents and procedures, all to get a green card and the green light to bring their disabled mother home to Littleton.
Sen. John Hickenlooper’s office helped expedite Svitlana’s visa process.
Svitlana also needed to wait to get two doses of COVID-19 vaccines and pass health checks before submitting the documentation for approval.
“She calls me Monday morning and they are crying, and I started crying,” MacBride said. “She tells me they refused our application. They denied it because of one document.”
The couple tracked down information and paperwork from Pueblo to Odesa, getting mom official approval to call Littleton home the day after her 81st birthday.
“I’m very relieved. I’m so thankful that they’re home,” MacBride said. “I have them. I have them back. I have my life back. I feel like my life is back.”
The couple said they couldn’t have gotten to where they were today without the financial, spiritual and emotional support of their church community.