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Once again, Mirică

I remember the Autumn of 2007. Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital in Bucharest Romania. Mirică, the little abandoned boy, was 4 years old.

We took him into our care after he had been successfully operated for hare lip and cleft palate. He seemed to be intelligent and knew how to appeal for TLC. In fact the doctors say that it is this care which helped him recover from a grave illness after another operation this time for reflux. Despite many injections he kept a smile when lifted or carried like a baby. So far he was not able to speak nor walk.

We all were hoping that he may yet surprise us like he did on recovering from that last illness.

The name Mirică keeps popping up-literally and metaphorically!
Having had an operation for reflux his health seemed better and hopes ran high. The intensive care staff did everything possible to make his life happy and, of course, his many “mamas” did likewise but for 2 weeks he seemed to be in a coma. One day, those little eyes opened and step by step improvement came. So well did he become that he was transferred back to his original room which was “home”.

November 6th came – Mirică’s birthday!

He had reached 4 years! Such called for a party and the total staff of several doctors, nurses and carers sang “La multi ani! – Happy birthday!” with great gusto.
Then – the cake – with sparkling candles appeared.

Mirică just looked on wonderingly but knew to be happy as everyone else was!

Today Cristian Mirică is long gone but we are still remembering those touching moments…

 

More on Cristian Mirică’s sad story: here and here.

Sister Mary Aloysius

Let me introduce you to…

November 25th, 2009 No comments

A young 19 year old mother Cristina.  She really attends to all the babies’ needs but it seems she has need of mothering too!  Back home she has left her 2 year old son now she has a 5 month old baby with hip problems needing an operation.  As we see to the needs of little ones it is just as necessary to do all we can to ‘mother’ the mother!

In Oncology Ward too I get a daily shining example of living faith and Christian kindness with mothers sharing a room. Though they have their own child to care for they are ever ready to show love and attention to the others child. One very ill abandoned child Georgiana gets constant visits from children who copy the mums and come to say gentle things to her. Today I noticed she opened her eyes and seemed happy to have these visitors.  She even said her first word – “apa” meaning water. No one had ever heard her speak before!

Child at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital in Bucharest

Child at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital in Bucharest

Benjamina ten year-old boy who weighed 5 kilos on arrival at Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital, no exaggeration. Never have I seen such an emaciated little body! He has several health problems but the doctors and staff are doing all they can to improve his condition, actually I see a slight improvement and my biggest joy was to receive even a tiny sign that he got some comfort from my gently stroking his head, at least he is not totally abandoned!

Marcus too is an abandoned child. He is 3 years old and though he speaks little, he smiles and shows joy when he receives a gift. To get new pyjamas and also a boy’s suit complete with pockets thrilled him and he smiled into my face saying several times “ce faci?” (how are you?). He has pulmonary trouble but is improving with the care he receives.

Up in the Intensive Care Unit of Floor 7 little one year old Gabi lies in his cot unable to move due to his condition spina bifida. One little arm is paralysed but as I sing to him or leave the cassette recorder near him he seems happy.  He always smiles when I take both his hands and pretend to keep time to the music!

In a nearby cot lies Floricica. He too is very ill. He is so tiny and needs much care – which he gets. A little angel! Like Luis and Gabriel, Floricica is an abandoned baby.

Gheorghe is 15 years old and has several physical problems. He comes from far out in the country and has never been away from home. He becomes very agitated as, when given an injection, he thinks people will kill him in the hospital. I sat with him to reassure him. Luckily a young and very kind doctor came and talked reassuringly to him. I hope and pray he will settle down and sleep.

 

Sister Mary Aloysius

Now it is better

November 20th, 2009 No comments

Today is Saturday.
The weather is beautiful and, very importantly, the traffic is not busy at all.

Therefore we decided to pay a visit to the Orphanage where there are many children with mental problems. We went there to deliver clothes, educational toys and gifts for the children. On our arrival in the orphanage we were happy to see a group children chatting and playing in the garden, well assisted by two carers.

Tancabesti Orphanage

Tancabesti Orphanage

As we approached, the children recognised us and ran to welcome us. One of them was Georgiana, an old “friend” of ours who was very proud showing us the “jewellery” she got from us on a previous visit there. Soon we were surrounded by children who were overjoyed to receive a new t-shirt, trousers and slippers. Considering our first visit to the orphanage when the children were half undressed and screaming and grabbing clothes from our bags no matter what size, we realized that now it is much better! The group of children is not very large this time and definitely better organized by the carers.

Led in by the director of the Orphanage we went to visit the gymnasium. There we noted with satisfaction some children playing table tennis, others jumping on the trampoline and on the climbing frame. Five years ago the teachers in the Orphanage expressed a great desire for a place where the children could spend their energy. Soon we started the project “Gymnastic room for the Orphanage” and, in less than eight months two rooms were completely refurbished and transformed into a quite large, fully equipped gymnastic room. Today, instead of nervous, bored children spread around the Orphanage we found them burning that energy while playing in the gymnasium. This is much better!

Next door to the gymnasium is a little classroom very colourfully decorated, furnished with tables and chairs and filled by the voices of six lively children looked after by a teacher. Two boys were constructing a palace out of Lego bricks while three girls were doing the colouring of storybooks. Ionela, a ten year-old girl, impressed us. She was rocking her doll –baby with a motherly expression. Her beautiful, big black eyes were watching the “baby” and giving it the love and affection she herself had probably missed. She gladly accepted our hug but did not allow us to touch her dolly.

Tancabesti Orphanage

Tancabesti Orphanage

Looking at this lively classroom we realized that now it is better than a few years ago when we visited a dark classroom and got surrounded by a group of bored, irascible children. Things are no longer this way. Marian, a tall boy of seventeen years of age, welcomed us to his bedroom – a big room of about twenty beds. Now the room looked bright and clean – so different from one previous visit when we decided to do something to improve the look of the bedrooms. We are now seeing clean beds, new mattresses and bed sets. Add the refurbished floors, walls and windows and find a complete change of atmosphere. The nicest moment came when Marian returned to the room and could not recognise his bed – the new covers on every bed were confusing him. He even asked for permission to sit on his own bed!

Tancabesti Orphanage

Tancabesti Orphanage

Look at the bedrooms! Look at those new decent toilets! Feel the atmosphere in the Orphanage!

We definitely say once again: Now it is better!

Sister Mary Aloysius