Medford native residing in Ukraine, narrowly escapes to neighboring country as tensions escalate

MEDFORD, Ore — As tensions escalate between Russia and Ukraine, a Medford native and his family quickly evacuated to a neighboring country just in time.

Nick Patella graduated from St. Mary’s High School in 1998, and has been working for the World Bank Group over the last 10 years. He relocated to his wife’s home country of Ukraine with their two sons recently.

Nick’s immediate family resides in Jacksonville. His sister, Martina, said they left the country’s capitol of Kyiv about a week prior to Russia’s invasion.

Martina said she keeps in touch with him regularly when he’s able to talk, but is constantly worried.

“It’s horrifying, its something I didn’t think was going to happen,” Martina said. “Things are touch and go. Every time I don’t hear from him for a few hours, I get very worried.”   

With the prices of gas and oil soaring since the attacks, Martina highlighted that Nick is in a critical role of developing electric transportation for the World Bank Group. However, how soon he will be able to return to work remains unknown.

Martina and her family continues to watch the situation closely. Aside from their safety, one her concerns is the aftermath of the crisis especially for their younger children.

“How do you explain to an eight year old that they can’t go home because their house is now under attack and could have bombs dropped on it,” Martina said. “And their friends that they went to elementary school might not be around anymore. I hope that the situation deescalates, and that there are no more lives lost.” 

© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

Skip to content