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A Letter from Bob Barr

We have just received this heart touching letter from Bob Barr, a good friend of Romanians in need and a longtime supporter of the Lawside Romania Project.

I was first interested in the poor of Romania in 1994. For fifteen consecutive years I went to help the poor there and my biggest passion was visiting children in the Oncology Department of Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital in Bucharest.

Ill child with Sister Aloysius

Ill child with Sister Aloysius

I nursed my mother at home 35 years ago when she had terminal cancer and now my dear wife Ruth died on 2nd December 2010 with the same cruel problem. She did so much helping me to raise money and send boxes of clothes to Romania all these years. Now, I would like to give the financial support to furnish a much needed kitchen in the Oncology Department in her memory. This would be such a blessing for mothers who have to stay long-term with their ill children, many of them being on the “terminal line”.

Ill baby with Sister Aloysius

Ill baby with Sister Aloysius

I am so happy that everyone, including the Hospital Staff, agreed to call this kitchen “Ruth’s Kitchen”. I am so pleased that my daughters and family are with me in this project. For 16 or 17 years I have been selling goods at boot sales, many times at shops and churches. Goods donated by people who knew me. Every penny made went to help the poor families in Romania. Ever since my wife developed cancer in 2007 I continued sending boxes, money, etc.

I definitely intend to continue this work in the memory of Ruth – my dear wife – but more for the Glory of God.

Bob Barr

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

Grateful for the Opportunity

February 7th, 2011 No comments

Arriving at Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital in Bucharest, Romania I was unsure of what to expect. However what I found during my 2009 visit was certainly different to what I imagined. Although the hospital still has issues in relation to resources the work of Sister Mary Aloysius and the Lawside Romania Project has without a doubt improved the lives of many. Her efforts have brought up-to-date surgeries to the hospital, a playground for the children and an increase in the standard of care on the wards.

My time there was a profound experience for me. I had a room in the Rehabilitation Ward at the hospital where the children with disabilities go to see physical therapists, play therapists and others.  However the main department of Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital is where I felt my time was most needed. Sadly, in this hospital there are children abandoned by their families, some of whom I was fortunate to get to know on an individual basis. The very busy staff in the hospital does not have time to spend with the children to give them the love and attention they need.

During my time in the hospital I spent some days in the Oncology Ward where cancer patients are treated. I was overwhelmed by the happiness of the children there on Halloween. Volunteers brought them outfits and everyone got dressed up. It was magical to see children forget about their illness for a time and enjoy being children.

One particular experience that I will always remember was a trip to the countryside to visit the family of a boy who had died in the hospital two years previously. Sister Aloysius had given this family support since his death. On the visit we brought food, drinks and clothes to the family who live in a house with their two small children. The mother was deaf and dumb but it was clear she was an excellent mother and cared and loved her children very much.

Ill children at play

Ill children at play

I am grateful for the opportunity and experience that I gained from my time with Sister Mary Aloysius at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital and will always carry the memories of the children with me.

Jane McCarty