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Boy who fled Ukraine with just a phone number written on his hand reunites with mom

Julia Pisecka, the boy's mother who initially stayed back, traveled with her mother to the Slovakian border to be reunited with her family.

Boy who fled Ukraine with just a phone number written on his hand reunites with mom
Image source: Facebook/policiaslovakia

A Ukrainian boy made headlines earlier this month for crossing the border into Slovakia all by himself and now, he has been reunited with his mom and grandma. Slovakian police confirmed the emotional reunion on their official Facebook page. Hassan, the 11-year-old boy, went viral earlier this month after he made the long arduous journey to Slovakia on his own, with nothing but a phone number scribbled on his hand. Slovakian authorities posted about the journey that ended in reuniting the family. They thanked police officers on both sides of the border for helping the family cross over and reunite with the boy. "Mom, grandma, and five siblings are all well, together and safe. Thank you to all who help refugees from Ukraine," read the post.


Julia Pisecka, the boy's mother, initially stayed back to take care of her ailing mother. After Hassan reached Slovakia alone, he was picked up by his relatives from across the border and joined his three siblings so the group could "start from scratch." As Russian shelling intensified, Pisecka decided to take the risk and try escaping the country to be reunited with her family. She, along with her mother, took "a very difficult journey on the evacuation train" to be reunited with her kids, said the authorities, reported PEOPLE. The Slovakian police wrote that it "wasn't the first time Hassan's family ran away from war" having fled from a war-torn Syria to Ukraine a few years back. Sadly, their father "didn't make it." The Slovakian authorities' post instilled hope. They wrote, "The family is together again. They lost everything again, but this time the war didn't take anyone away from them. They are together and that's all that matters."


As we reported earlier, Hassan traveled more than 600 miles from his home in Zaporizhzhia, southeast Ukraine, to reach Slovakia. He carried a backpack, a plastic bag and a passport. He had a telephone number written on his hand for emergencies, said the Slovak Ministry of Interior. The Slovakian authorities hailed him as a hero. “He won over everyone with his smile, fearlessness and determination worthy of a real hero,” read the statement. "He came all alone from Zaporizhzhia because his parents had to stay in Ukraine," police spokeswoman Denisa Bardyova told AFP. At the time, his mother posted a video message thanking Slovakian authorities. "I am very grateful that they saved the life of my child," said the boy's mother, Julia Pisecka, in a video message. "In your small country, there are people with big hearts," she added.


The EU asked all 27 member nations to grant asylum to all Ukrainians for up to three years. According to estimates by the United Nations, the number of people being displaced and seeking refuge could be anywhere from 4 to 7 million. "I think we will have to prepare for millions," said EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson, reported DW. Most of the refugees have fled to Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Moldova and Romania.


Hassan's sister opened up about his journey during a virtual interview with Good Morning Britain from Bratislava last week. "He said the most important [thing] is to be in the place where [his family is]," said Hassan's sister. "He's not thinking about the future. He just wants to stay with us." When Hassan's siblings were asked if they were worried for him, they said they were all worried about how he would cope in the train filled to the brim. "He doesn't even go to summer camp because he can't leave us," said his sister. "He was scared that he was alone with more than 300 people in one carriage," she continued. "My mother was the most nervous. She was happy and relaxed when Hassan reached the Slovakian border." 

Russia's attack on Ukraine is a developing story, and we’ll update you as we learn more. Information is swiftly changing and Upworthy is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency of developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication.

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