“N-are mama, n-are tata”

“N-are mama, n-are tata” is something you can hear in almost every room of Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital in Bucharest.

Many babies and older children are called by their names followed by this “N-are mama, n-are tata”. Others are surrounded by the love and care of their mothers who try to meet their every need. Unfortunately, many little patients are alone and do not have the necessary clothes, pampers and even toys. Many times I have found a baby crying simply because the “soother” had fallen from its lips and no-one was near to restore it. These children are “N-are mama, n-are tata”.

Child at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital

Child at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital

Little David is only four years old but looks much younger. He cannot speak nor walk and just waves his arms and legs trying to communicate his needs. Being a “N-are mama, n-are tata” and also not having a carer beside him it’s I the one who change his diapers and make him comfortable and I enjoy it so much. Amazingly, he knows how to show his gratitude in his own way and it is good to see him happy.

In the Intensive Care Unit of the Pediatric Ward is Mihai, a two year-old child with large, dark eyes and a beautiful smile. But Mihai constantly needs oxygen. Also, he is a “N-are mama, n-are tata”. In almost one year spent in Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital he succeeded in developing his own gestural language of arms and legs knowing how to call for his needs and then showing his gratitude by an irresistible smile. I am always moved to tears seeing that lovely face and knowing his serious condition. But offering him love and care is the best one can do!

Today, while on a visit to the intensive care unit, I was shocked to find out that a little one year-old baby had her arm tied to the bed to prevent her removing the branula which was attached to her other arm. I knew she is a “N-are mama, n-are tata” and therefore not being cared for by any relatives. Straightaway I begged the doctor to allow me to free the little girl’s arm and assured him that I’ll watch so nothing would happen. The request was granted! Soon I discovered that by gently caressing her head with my hand a happy look appeared on her face. Maybe she felt a touch of love for the first time in her life. And, sure thing, she received it with a big smile of appreciation!

Vasilica lies on his cot looking at all who come into his room – there are mothers and carers. Yet, he is also “N-are mama, n-are tata”. He is a ten month-old baby and seems to be more alert than others of his age. He also has large, round, curious eyes that beam with delight whenever he is lifted from de cot. Of course, he never seems to like when he is put back into his “nest”. I think his happiest moments are when the volunteers come from St. Therese Church and one of them always takes him into her arms for at least an hour.

Who knows – maybe one day he will find a home, a “mama” and a “tata”?!

Children at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital

Children at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital

Unfortunately, our list of “N-are mama, n-are tata” children is much longer and sadly it is never closed. These children come from different orphanages or other state institutions, remain at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital for a while and, after treatment they return to the orphanage. All quiet and lonely, without any shadow of joy on their small faces, they are transferred from one place to another being only a figure in a register.

This is because they are “N-are mama, n-are tata” which means “with no mother and no father”.

They are a top priority for Lawside Romania Project and, together with our volunteers we do all we can for them. Bringing medicines, clothes, pampers, toys, comfort and most of all, our deep love and care.

They probably deserve much more than this but there is no way to replace a mother and a father…

 

Sister Mary Aloysius

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