With her husband dead and the mother of her two children still sick, Svetlana Shcherbakov began working at the hospital.
She was a nurse, a technician, and then a pharmaceutically qualified pharmacologist, a job that she thought would provide her with a chance to pay off her debt to her father and his associates.
She decided to try it anyway.
Her daughter, Shona, was born two months before the start of the conflict, and the first time she saw her mother was at a hospital emergency room.
Shcherdakov had a hard time holding back tears as she described the day she learned that her mother, who had died in 2014, was still alive.
“I told her, I’m going to die, but you’re going to live on.
And I remember she started crying,” she recalled.
“And then I remember the hospital in the pictures, that was a big pain, the way they put the bodies in the coffins, it was so bad.”
The tragedy struck hard for Shcherbahakov, who was raised to be an optimist and believes that the best is yet to come.
The hospital, which she described as “the first thing that I was born into”, is one of the few in Ukraine that offers care to the elderly, children, and sick people.
“It’s not so much a hospital, but an institution,” she said.
“The patients here are people who are sick.
We help them.”
This is how Shcherbolova, now in her late 70s, describes the hospital, the kind of care that she received during the conflict and her days as a nurse.
It was one of many she saw during her time as a pharma technician.
During the war, her mother’s home was bombed and her father was killed.
The shelling made her family homeless.
In December 1944, her father, a member of the Nazi party, was executed in Kiev.
She and her siblings and their mother moved to the city of Lviv, and Shcherbalov took her first job as a health worker there.
She spent most of her childhood in Lviv and the surrounding region.
She worked at the hospitals of Lvov, Kramatorsk, and Chernivtsi, but soon switched to the maternity hospital in Ivano-Frankivsk.
She had the chance to work in a new field, as the war ended.
Shcherskaya, who is from the city’s westernmost district, remembers that the war’s end was the biggest shock she had to deal with.
“My life changed completely,” she told Al Jazeera.
“From the first day of my job, I was thinking about the future.”
In April 1945, Shcherbulak was awarded a medal by the Ukrainian Red Cross for her efforts during the war.
In October 1946, the Ukrainian Government gave her a pension of 1,200 hryvnia ($11) a month.
Her pension came in addition to a pension that she earned while working at her father’s factory, where she worked from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.
But when she came back to Ivano, the situation was very different.
“As soon as the people started to leave, I went to work for a nurse’s shop,” Shcherborbakov said.
Shchedr, a Ukrainian word meaning “mother”, has an important role in Ukrainian culture.
“When a mother goes to work, she’s a mother,” Shchedrin said.
In the late 1950s, Shchedri became a member, and later became the head of the Ukrainian National Union of Nurses.
She started to take care of the elderly and the sick.
“In my early 20s, I thought I was going to be a nurse,” Shchyrbakov told Al journa .
“But the only reason I had was my father’s name, and I didn’t know how to get a job.
I got a job at a food store and a couple of years later I started to look for a job.”
During the conflict Shchernakh was an active member of a group of elderly people in Ivania, and was a member at a time when people were still not ready for the changes that the end of the war brought.
The war brought about the deaths of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians, and many people who worked for hospitals were displaced.
The situation was so dire that many elderly people decided to leave Ivano to live in neighbouring villages, and others began to move to other parts of Ukraine.
“Some of them moved to Lviv,” Shchryrav said.
After a few years, she started working at a nursing home in the town of Goriivka.
“At that time I had three brothers, but now I have only two,” Sh Chervakh said.
Her family and many others were forced to leave the town when they were not able to pay their rent.