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Archive for August, 2010

Offering a Drop of Joy

“Suffer the little children to come unto me” – This text from Scripture came so alive in a room in the intensive care unit of floor seven in Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital. Meet the little children there – Louis, two and a half years old, Gabriel (almost two years old) and Jeo who is nine months. Louis has cancer, Gabriel is hydro encephalic and baby Jeo has leukaemia. Daily we really do care for these little ones. It’s such a privilege, then, one day the priest arrived dressed in vestments and carrying a small silver chalice. From this he took Holy Communion in the form of wine and using a little spoon, he gave Jesus to each child. Looking at those little babies and seeing wonder in their eyes I felt truly in the presence of God.

Ill child at Budimex Hospital in Bucharest (Bucuresti)

Offering a drop of joy for ill children at Budimex

Louis needs no introduction! Most people in the hospital recognise this little two and a half year old for he has been here since birth. As he never had a visitor we have taken on the special care he needs. His illness is severe as his immune system is low. On floor seven he has a daily regime of care being given any medicines needed. Doctors, nurses and carers love Louis; one nurse even had him at her wedding dressed up in a pin striped suit. Now – alas – it has been discovered he has a tumour attached to one lung. Hopes of restoration of health are not strong but miracles still occur. We will continue our daily care.

Ill child at Budimex Hospital in Bucharest (Bucuresti)

Offering a drop of joy for ill children at Budimex

It is a joy to introduce you to Gabriel for he has an angelic spirit. Although he is almost two years old, he is still tiny as he has not grown because of his illness. There he lies, smiling if we touch his face with affection but he is unable to move. Smile – having acquired a new and comfortable pram we got permission to take Gabriel for a little journey up the long corridor. What a thrill it was to see wonder in his eyes as he looked at the coloured pictures on the walls. Not a word could he speak but the happy smile and movement of those eyes spoke volumes. How very privileged we are to care for this little child.

Meet Andreea. She is a patient in Floor 5 – the Oncology Ward at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital. She is one of the most affectionate children and runs to hug any visitor to her ward. Andreea cannot speak but her eyes and her gestures say to all who come near “I love you”. Toys, especially dolls give her joy but she is ready to leave all of these things just to get a hug from a visitor. How easy it is to bring happiness into a child’s life.

Ill child with a Barbie doll at Budimex Hospital in Bucharest (Bucuresti)

Offering a drop of joy for ill children at Budimex

Fabian has been a long time in hospital in the Oncology Ward. I cannot read minds but, when he came shyly to me and touched my arm I knew he had a special request! Yes – he longed for a remote-controlled car! What wonder shone in his eyes when he awakened from an afternoon nap to find the desired car on his pillow!

Ill child lying in bed at Budimex Hospital in Bucharest (Bucuresti)

Offering a drop of joy for ill children at Budimex

Meet Jeo who shares a room with Gabriel. What a little wriggler! He is only eight months old but those impish eyes speak volumes. He is clever enough to know that, if he does a 360 degree turn in the cot getting entangled in the blanket, someone will surely lift him and nurse him back to sleep. Alas! He has leukemia with no hope of bone-marrow transplant. We keep on appealing for a bone-marrow facility for Bucharest but are constantly told the money is not available. To offer comfort to these unlucky, abandoned children is the most important part of our mission in the Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital in Bucuresti.

Every morning when I attend Mass I hold these children in my prayers and I thank God for the energy He gives me to be a support to them and to be able to offer a drop of joy in their sad lives.

Sister Mary Aloysius