Local foreign student reunited with Ukrainian family in West Virginia

PUTNAM COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — Denys Pavlov is a 17-year-old who came to Buffalo High School last year from Ukraine. As a foreign student, he planned to return home, but when Russia invaded his country in February, everything changed for his family.

“It was hard for me because I didn’t understand how things could change so quickly and so quickly,” Pavlov said. “Of course, I was afraid for my family.”

Unable to return home and see his family, Deny’s foster father, Shannon Priddy, was determined to bring Pavlov’s family to West Virginia.

“I was so excited that he could bring them here and know they were out of danger, because it was a very dangerous place,” Priddy said. “It was quite a struggle, I’m sure, for them to leave it all behind just to be able to get here.”

Her mother and grandmother fled the country with only a suitcase and arrived in Eleanor last week.

“I have a Ukrainian family now,” Priddy said.

“It’s a new chapter,” Pavlov said. “I think we’re going to be in West Virginia for a while because we never asked for help or support in Ukraine. It’s our culture. Here I never asked for help, help came to me without asking and I am very grateful.

The community welcomes Denys and his family with open arms, working to raise funds so they can settle in West Virginia.

The community is hosting a spaghetti dinner to be held August 14 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Eleanor Fire Department. All these profits will go to Denys and his family during their time of need.

There is also a GoFundMe to support the family here.