Archive

Archive for October, 2009

Let me introduce you to…

October 30th, 2009 No comments

Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital, Bucharest, Romania, 2007

Here comes Denisa, being taken out by mama in a push chair. At one time Denisa lost all her hair. Now, at ten years of age, it has returned and Denisa smiles constantly as her confidence is returning and her health improving. There are hopes for her recovery as the leukemia was mild. Although she is under heavy treatment she enjoys very much to read some of the books we offer to the children in Oncology Department.
I hope and pray Denisa will be able to read and comment on many books for many years ahead. God help her and her family!

 

Meet Costica, another abandoned boy. Walk to 3rd Floor and you are sure to see a small really lonely looking boy standing with back to wall obviously waiting in hope that someone will take him out of doors. He looks so like a 12 year old but, actually he is 21 years old. He has a serious urinary problem and is awaiting an operation. He doesn’t speak but, when I appear to take him out in a wheelchair he screams with joy.  Once outside, he loves a session on the swing or a slow walk around the grounds.

Budimex (Marie Curie) Children's Hospital

Budimex (Marie Curie) Children's Hospital

Now on the bed I see little Gratian. He is 5 years old and, like Costica, is in need of a serious operation. What joy he showed when I brought him new pyjamas, a police car and a toy mobile phone. What a shock I received the morning after my joyful visit! The doctor met me on the corridor, in tears, and told me little Gratian had died during the night. I find it so difficult to put my feelings into words. I prefer to pray and my  single consolation is that I paid that visit and shared his last moments of joy.

 

Adeline always causes people to look and listen as she proceeds along a corridor on her wheel-chair. Why? Because she greets all in English and, when she sees me in the distance, she carries on a conversation in English! What an amazing example of joy in such a young girl who knows her life may be always lived in a wheel-chair!

 

Meet mothers too – each with a child in arms or on push-chair because that little one is physically handicapped in one way or another. Daily therapy for the child means a schedule to be followed and each mother hopes for improvement in her child’s condition. Yes – mothers too need encouragement!

Budimex (Marie Curie) Children's Hospital

Budimex (Marie Curie) Children's Hospital

Andre has such a lovely smile and a strong determination to walk despite the fact that he has cerebral palsy. Having a bright intelligence he enjoys the challenges offered him in the ergo-therapy room. As he is still only 6 years old there are hopes he will make daily progress.

 

Moving around the rehabilitation ward with a brush in his hand and doing good work there and in the hospital is a young man – Marcel. As a child Marcel lived in the rehabilitation ward as he had to undergo several operations on his legs. These operations were very successful and now Marcel holds down a man’s job around the hospital. Having saved up his salary he is now in the process of buying a plot of land on which he hopes to build a little house for himself.

‘Recuperare’ story

October 30th, 2009 No comments

Bucharest, 2006

One part of the Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital complex is the ‘Recuperare’ (Rehabilitation Ward). There, hundreds of children through the years have passed as intern patients. Daily I visit this very full and very busy place. I see fathers, mothers, and grandparents all with a child whose physical disability necessitates therapy of one kind or another. Some children are on push-chairs others on wheel-chairs and many are being carried in the arms of an adult. Movement everywhere – parents wonderfully patient yet all with a sad worried expression.

Budimex (Marie Curie) Children's Hospital

Budimex (Marie Curie) Children's Hospital

Having a room at my disposal in the Rehab allows me to meet and talk with both children and adults. More and more I become aware of needs other than therapy e.g. poor parents need push chairs or maybe a little money for food. Children’s lives are brightened through receiving books, toys, etc.
Rooms need decoration.
All day long there is movement. Some parents are queuing for consultation with the Director, others are taking their child to the ergo therapy, physiotherapy or Kinetotherapy Department.

In each of these departments there are qualified staff members who truly do a great work to help the little ones cope with their physical problem. It is good to see them at work!

It is good to see smiles on the faces of the children when treatment is over and they can get out to the garden where there are swings or simply seats to allow time to enjoy the sunshine. Every day I learn a new lesson from these suffering children and from their inconsolable mothers. Maybe the best lesson is the capacity to be happy and grateful to God for the very little things and events.

Budimex (Marie Curie) Children's Hospital

Budimex (Marie Curie) Children's Hospital

I saw a mother cry with joy on seeing her child moving one finger. Then the mother so happy to see her little son move his leg about two centimetres. I was touched to the heart by a sight of one little five year old boy with serious leg problems who asked his mom to let go of his hand to prove to me he could take a step or two on his own! Mothers and children give thanks to God for the ability to say one word, to take one more step or make one more movement.

Their strong belief and hope in God in these circumstances is the best lesson anyone can get. The question is: Are we grateful enough for our health, our power and good fortune?!

I am not sure!

Sister Mary Aloysius

They deserve everything

October 23rd, 2009 No comments

Down through the years we have worked with, played with and talked with many children – patients in Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital. So many memories, some glad, some sad, some funny.
Starting with the last – one little 7 year-old boy, Laurentiu, begged for a doll. When I explained that, usually, only girls asked for a doll he said: “But I want it for my sister”. He did not have a sister but the doll looked like a lovely baby and it spoke!

Little five-year old Claudiu had many tumors. When I asked him what he most wanted he immediately answered “a machina” (a car). Never did he dream of getting a remote controlled car and this is what we gave him. Such joy – pain was forgotten but I will never forget his word of gratitude. “Sister, I love you and I will pray for you”.
What an astounding promise for, before two weeks he had gone to Heaven.

Ill children at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital

Ill children at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital

Then there was 15 year-old Florin, a boy very ill with cancer. His request was for an mp3 player (a mystery to me!). However I got just that and mother smiled to see him so happy. A few days later he called me to come to his bedside. Even his mum and dad were very surprised to hear him say “Sister, please can you get me perfume”? Immediately his request was granted and it gave him joy to share this gift with two who shared his room. He was indeed happy but only for a short time – he is now in Heaven.

Cristopher was a 13 year-old artist suffering from cancer. One day he requested a painting set. On receiving this he did some beautiful pictures. These were admired by the local Mayor who himself is an artist. He gave full marks to Cristopher who was so proud of this!
Later, when Christmas and New Year were being celebrated he painted, in large and colourful letters, the word “La multi ani”. But – he too was called to Heaven before that New Year came.

One little 4 year-old boy, Danut, loved to copy all the doctors and nurses did or said. One day there was laughter as he repeated “du-te acasa” (go home to your house) not knowing the meaning of the words. Because this caused laughter he loved to repeat it often. One morning the doctor, treating Danut as a manly little boy said “good morning Danut”. Quickly came the response: “du-te acasa doctor”.

Marks & Spencer in the mall cannot compare with the numbers of females coming to my door in the Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital once the news of the arrival of a box from Scotland gets around especially in the Oncology Ward.
Constant knocks on my door tell me there are girls queuing up for jewellery, eye-shadow, nail-varnish, perfume and a variety of toiletries. These ladies are anything from 10 to 18 years! Of course, even they are thrilled to receive a doll!
From another ward a mother of 18 (never having had a doll) comes shyly to request one for her newly-born baby! Requests vary but we try to meet all with a positive response.

One boy – George – longed for a walkman. Of course he got it but so did many others when they spied the treasure!

What about Laurentiu – his longing was for a TV!
Another patient in Oncology Ward – an ardent supporter of Dinamo, dreamed of dressing in a full Dinamo “strip”. Traian Despa headed for Dinamo Stadium and sports shop and, in an hour or so Ionut proudly put on shirt, scarf, cap and shorts and had such joy to display Dinamo colours.

Ill children at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital

Ill children at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital

We had some rooms refurbished and made beautiful for the boys and girls who are long-term patients in the Rehabilitation Unit.
One girl there was so happy to have a new bed, bedclothes, bedside cabinet and a lovely bathroom with shower said: “Sister, all these beautiful things make me feel better!”.

It is a privilege for us to bring a joy to everyone in pain.
We have represented only a few cases but, in our hearts are stored much more – hard to describe without tears!

We are surrounded by children, youths, mothers with their suffering… we cannot say “no” to their requests because they deserve every joy we can give them!

They deserve everything!

Sister Mary Aloysius