British couple’s ‘absolute nightmare’ stranded in Ukraine while collecting newborn surrogate twins

After 13 years of waiting, it was meant to be the happiest moment of their lives

Maryam Zakir-Hussain
Tuesday 01 March 2022 16:34
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British couple are stuck in a "living nightmare" after going to Ukraine to meet their surrogate babies

A British couple are stuck in a “living nightmare” after they travelled to Kyiv to collect their surrogate-born twins and found themselves stranded in the middle of a war.

Manisha and Metaish Parmar arrived in Ukraine three weeks ago as the surrogate mother gave birth to the babies they had been waiting for for 13 years.

They are now stranded in an apartment in Kyiv with their newborns and Mr Parmar’s parents amid Russia’s invasion, and run for shelter together in a bunker when the air raid sirens go off.

The British couple are now stranded in Kyiv with their parents and newborn twins

Mrs Parmar told BBC Radio 5 Live on Friday: “Things are not good, we can hear explosions going off.

“It’s absolutely traumatising, devastating.

“We’re absolutely worried, we don’t know what to do. We can’t go anywhere, we’re just stranded and stuck in Kyiv.”

Mrs Parmar said it had gone from what should have been the happiest moment in their lives to “an absolute living nightmare”.

She said: “We thought we would come here, see our newborns being born and have the best moments of our lives – 13 years we’ve been waiting for this moment.

“And now we’re just living this absolute nightmare and we just want to get out.”

This map shows the extent of Russia’s attack on Ukraine

The couple said the British embassy has issued emergency travel documents, however the couple would have to travel up to 14 hours across a warzone to the western city of Lviv to collect them.

Mrs Parmar said: “The roads are absolutely jammed and the trains are absolutely jammed too and with four adults and twins, it’s impossible.”

She added that there is a limit of 20 litres of fuel per person, not enough for the eight-hour drive to Lviv, and a taxi will not take them that far.

Refugees flee from Ukraine to neighbouring country Poland

Talking to Good Morning Britain yesterday, Mrs Parmar said: “In a situation like this, you’d think they’d understand right? And send the emergency travel document electronically in this crisis. But no.”

Her husband said: “I expected the UK embassy to support us here,” but the foreign office said there is a limited capability of what they can do to help British nationals in Ukraine.

The new dad added: “We’re pleading with the British Government and the UK embassy to help us get out of this place as soon as possible.

“Tensions are rising, things aren’t looking good or sounding good where we are, around us.

“The environment is very stressful and we are obviously scared, we don’t know what to expect right now.”

Aftermath of a missile blast in central Kharviv, Ukraine’s second largest city

Mr Parmar also said he and his father have been going “with caution” to a local supermarket to get nappies and other baby supplies.

They have picked up whatever is available for the adults, such as water and biscuits, but there is “very limited stock at the moment”.

They have spoken to locals outside their apartment to seek help, but “unfortunately the language barrier here is difficult”, Mr Parmar said.

The new parents said they are “just praying” that their babies will be safe.

Follow our live coverage of Russia-Ukraine news here.

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