MENOMONEE FALLS — This week marks more than 100 days since Russia invaded Ukraine waging war. While many have fled, a Menomonee Falls woman chose to go into the line of fire to rescue her son.
Nataliya Gissbl feels a sense of peace that she hasn't seen felt since before the war.
"Now I can breathe in and breathe out, it's a little bit easier because he’s here," said Gissbl.
Her 19-year-old son, Nils, had been studying back in Ukraine, their native, attending medical school. As the war broke out, he immediately transitioned to helping wounded Ukrainian soldiers and was unable to flee but as conditions grew worse his mother was determined to bring him home.
"I went to Ukraine and I had only one task in my head to help my son and bring him back home," said Gissbl.
Gissbl packed her bags, flew to Poland, and was able to cross the border.
"I couldn’t even talk, I was so shocked I saw my son. He was alive he was sitting in a basement with his grandma and his friend, so I just took them and we went to the border of west Ukraine and they stayed in West Ukraine and I took my son and we went to Poland. It was a big challenge. I saw shootings, bombing, I saw a big plane which was flying over my head trying to bomb and I saw people who needed a lot of help."
Her son Nils is now navigating a new life in Menomonee Falls.
"He’s traumatized and shocked. I'm happy he’s in a safe place like the United States and coming up from here I hope he can continue his studies, he can go to university because it’s his dream to be a doctor."