Chance meeting unites Ukrainian family with Marco Island photographer


Mila Bridger planned to get a pint of Guinness with her husband as they boarded a train to the Dublin suburb of Dalkey. The two were vacationing in Ireland when they encountered a family there for very different reasons.

Mila, a Marco Island based photographer, met Andrew and Olena Buznia, who were fleeing Ukraine along with their two children. The strangers spent their whole train ride talking with one another.

“She felt like she wanted to help,” Olena said.

When the newfound friends went their separate ways, Mila pledged to do all she could to support the family.

Upon returning to the United States, Mila began selling a print of two of her pictures with proceeds going to the Buznia family. She has already been able to raise enough money to cover the family’s rent for three months.

“It was unbelievable,” Olena said. “Like a miracle.”

Mila is now trying to help find the family work.


Andrew and Olena believe their new friend has proved a powerful point. “Good always defeats evil,” Andrew said.

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