Alberta vet’s social media campaign pays off for his Ukrainian friend

Airdrie vet Cody Creelman helps a vet in Ukraine win a bovine ultrasound

Cody Creelman just wanted to see the look on his friend’s face. Vadim Pryadko was trying not to make too much noise.

The two veterinarians, one from Airdrie and the other from Ukraine, became friends thanks to a shared love of YouTube videos about bovine veterinary medicine— a friendship which became stronger after Creelman persuaded Pryadko to enter a video contest offering a prize of a $14,000 bovine ultrasound machine.

It was just after midnight in Ukraine when the two connected via a video chat site and Creelman broke the news he had won.

“I had quiet joy,” Pryadko wrote in an email using an online translator. “Because in the next room was sleeping baby little Caterina (his daughter), because it is a feature of Slavic culture, and because of all the emotions spent on the campaign.”

The video link wasn’t working, but the reaction was strong — Pryadko twice asking his Alberta friend to repeat the news to make sure he understood.

Pryadko later released a “thanksgiving” video on his YouTube channel, thanking Creelman and all those who cast votes online for him. In the playful video, Pryadko and co-worker Anatoly Petruk (who helped make the video contest entry) dance with calves, jump for joy, and play air guitar on the dairy farm where Pryadko works. They call out individuals by name and vow to learn more English to communicate with their new friends.

And he has a lot of them.

After he tweeted on Oct. 22 they had won the machine, Creelman left work for the day. When he returned to his Twitter feed the following morning, he had over 700 notifications, mostly congratulatory messages.

“The support was amazing. I can’t even wrap my head around it,” Creelman said.

Companies, which had spread the message about the campaign to all their staff, sent email messages expressing their support. Earlier, others had offered to donate money or gather vet supplies in case his friend didn’t win.

However, news of Pryadko’s win came out on the day Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was fatally shot while standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.

“It was actually a pretty bittersweet day and a lot of bad news,” Creelman said. “There were a lot of comments about how people were glad it had happened and there was some small sliver of hope in a pretty bad day for Canada.”

Pryadko has a brother in Moose Jaw and is hoping his father, currently on a visit to Canada, may be able to bring back the Easi-Scan ultrasound, which weighs 19 pounds and is the size of a double wide briefcase. If not, the machine could be sent through one of BCF’s offices in Europe.

About the author

Reporter

Alexis Kienlen

Alexis Kienlen lives in Edmonton and has been writing for Alberta Farmer since 2008. Originally from Saskatoon, Alexis is also the author of two collections of poetry, a biography, and a novel called "Mad Cow."

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