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'I took everything at once': Ukrainian woman reunites with family in Arkansas

Alexa's Creperie owner Sergiy Polyakov got help from the Hot Springs community to get his mother-in-law to Arkansas from Ukraine.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — The city of Hot Springs has pitched in to help business owner Sergiy Polyakov get his family from the war zone in Ukraine.

The journey for Asiia Kochurova hasn't been easy.

She's one of the millions of Ukrainians living through history as the war in their country continues.

Kochurova isn't fluent in English, but her son-in-law was by her side on Tuesday to help share her story.

"There's a lot of death around Ukraine and people are just waiting. There is a lot of suffering," Kochurova and Polyakov said. "The war is very scary for everyone."

Since the beginning of the crisis in her country, Kochurova and her family knew they needed to find a way to get her to safety.

"I took everything at once, because the family called and told her to leave as soon as possible," Kochurova and Polyakov described.

The next four days would be crucial.

After leaving Ukraine, Kochurova and some friends drove to Romania, Hungary, Slovenia and finally Poland for safety.

What usually would be a straight shot turned difficult.

"It's around 600 miles but the war change every hour situation," Polyakov said.

From Poland, Kochurova traveled to Mexico and after quick aid from a U.S. immigration lawyer, she touched down in San Diego, California.

Polyakov drove 26 hours from the Natural State to California and back to bring his mother-in-law to his wife and daughter.

He said they haven't seen her in eight years.

With the help of a local business and countless donations from the community, Kochurova and her family used that aid to get her home to safety.

He now has big plans for the family restaurant.

"Maybe we open another location in Little Rock. Who knows because we have a helper right now," Polyakov said.

Kochurova was granted a humanitarian parole, a policy which allows Ukraine refugees to live and work in the United States without a Visa for one year.

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