Newborns Lenny and Moishe, Born in Ukraine, Arrive Safe in Poland, Where They Meet Their Parents for 1st Time

Twins Lenny and Moishe were safely transported from Kyiv to a hospital in Poland.

It wasn't just Babies Moishe and Lenny that were rescued. Baby Sophie, a British premie was rescued too.

The twins who were born in Ukraine the day after Russia invaded the country have been transported safely to a Poland hospital after a daring mission that included the help of a military rescue group and the work of a Texas legal non-profit.

Attorney Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch and Lindsay Goldford have been helping  Alexander Sasha Spektor, 46, and Irma Nuñez, 48, navigate the legal obstacles in bringing their newborns, Lenny and Moishe, home safely since their babies arrived.

Both women, who run an Austin-Texas-based non-profit, VECINA, which mentors attorneys who don’t practice immigration law but want to help with immigration cases, reached out to Project Dynamo, a group of military veterans that go into war zones and rescue those at-risk.

Project Dynamo, which rescued individuals and families during the Afghanistan humanitarian crisis in August, headed straight for Ukraine, where those with the organization rescued Lenny and Moishe, as well as a third baby, Sophie, a premie born via surrogate to a British family, out of the war-torn country.

"It was a trifecta," Bryan Stern, co-founder of Project Dynamo and military veteran told CNN. “We stopped at two different hospitals. One hospital to get baby Moishe and baby Lenny. And, the other hospital to get baby Sophia."

Stern recounted how he, the babies, and a crew of doctors and nurses made their harrowing escape in an ambulance.

"The Russians were shelling Kyiv as the babies were being wheeled out," Stern said. "It was close enough for us to feel it and hear it. The team was up against the clock. They were driving more than 80 mph trailing through Russian artillery, checkpoints, and a snowstorm trying to get babies to the hospital."

Their journey took about 14 hours. "Babies on board. We are leaving,” one of the team members can be heard saying during a video, KVUE reported

“Project Dynamo has rescued hundreds and hundreds of people and a lot of kids, and a lot of families but this was a first for us where medical support was needed so that was the biggest challenge,” Stern told CNN. 

While this was all taking place, Spektor and Nuñez, were waiting anxiously more than 5,000 miles away, praying for a safe rescue, and watching for updates from Stern. The father told CNN during an interview that taking his babies out of Kyiv to a hospital in Poland was one of the most difficult decisions he and their mother had to make since their babies' health was so fragile.

“Do we take a chance and leave the boys in Kyiv until they get healthy enough to move them out? Or, do we lose this chance to bring them out even though it is dangerous," he said. 

The beginning of their ordeal began on Feb. 25, when Lenny and Moishe arrived seven weeks early after their Ukrainian surrogate, went into labor due to health complications. The babies were premature and each weighed approximately four pounds each.

As the crisis intensified, the new parents were scrambling to get their newborns to a hospital with a basement shelter, better equipment and supplies, while also working around the clock to get Lenny and Moishe out of Ukraine. Ultimately, the hospital they were born in was attacked by Russian artillery and sustained significant damage, Spektor said. 

While this nightmare was unfolding, the new father told the Today show that “it’s unimaginable, what can I say? It’s impossible to wrap your mind around.” “The fact that they’re premature plays against us. So there’s a conflict. They need to stay put. We need to take them out.”

The dad posted their ordeal on Facebook. “Lenny and Moishe, Come Home."

As their story made headlines across the world, the news parents shared updates on social media.

“Our sons arrived safely a few hours ago but experienced some distress during the trip. The head doctor overseeing their care estimates they require at least 2.5 weeks in hospital before they can be released,” they wrote.

"Our most challenging need remains our most pressing: securing medical transport out of Kyiv. Although an extended hospital stay is ideal for Moishe and Lenny, we must be prepared to move them as quickly and safely as possible should the war continue to escalate and conditions in Kyiv worsen."

The couple continued to document the obstacles they faced. One of them was getting the medicine their son, Moishe, needed when he was struggling to breathe. Spektor explained that the pharmacy that had the medicine they needed had been hit by shelling and was destroyed. Thankfully, doctors and caregivers were able to find another way.

“We have no time to spare,” the parents wrote.

They also, shared that they were in contact with several government offices and agencies to help arrange medical transport and supplies. Shortly after, a GoFundMe account was established and donations were pouring in. The parents expressed how “humbled” they were by all the support. As of Monday, more than $81,000 has been raised, surpassing their initial goal of $75,000.

“Up to this point, private individuals in Kyiv have been doing the costly and dangerous work of securing the needs of Lenny and Moishe. We are astounded by these heroic acts of 'ordinary' Ukrainians to care for us and each other,” they wrote.

Spektor, who is from Ukraine, now lives in Chicago with his wife. The transfer of their sons to a new hospital was overseen by a family friend who is an oncologist in Kyiv, he said. Amid the chaos and fighting, Spektor shared how a doctor managed to secure a private ambulance, and a neonatal ICU doctor to accompany them before their trip out of the country.

“I am incredibly worried, tired but, incredibly hopeful,” Spektor told CNN in a previous interview.

Surrogacy provider ADONIS Fertility International said they have nearly 100 American and Canadian clients who have been impacted by the conflict. Some of their surrogates are pregnant, while some surrogate parents are trapped in Ukraine with newborns.

Spektor said he and his wife anxiously awaited being able to see and hold their babies. “We are hoping every day this moment will come soon,” he said. 

That moment arrived on March 7, when Spektor and Nuñez were finally able to meet their babies for the first time. 

“It’s hard to put into words,” Spektor told CNN. “For the last 12 days we were in such a different mood and such a different life  It was nonstop attempts to get the boys out of Kyiv. 

For now, the new parents are enjoying their new bundles of joy and watching them get stronger before they are able to take them back home to the United States. In the meantime, both are learning the ropes of parenthood, and expressing their enthusiasm, while experiencing many firsts.

"We haven’t slept, so just to hold them in our hands see them, and be able to touch them, it is quite overwhelming," Spektor said.

For other coverage of the Ukraine Crisis, please visit CBS News.

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