Archive for the ‘Glimpse from 2007’ Category

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.

I cannot stop thinking

October 15th, 2009 No comments

It has been a hectic few weeks since I got home and back to work. Still trying to come back to earth after my week spent with. I can honestly say it was the most enjoyable six days of my life so far. I did not know what to expect when I arrived having heard so much from Colin and also what I had read about in the media.
I can honestly say that I am in complete awe at the fantastic work that both of you carry out over there in Romania.

I was telling my wife Karen that I have never really met anyone that I could say was inspirational but that all changed when I met Sister Mary Aloysius; where she gets her energy, enthusiasm and “get up and go” from is just amazing.

I cannot stop thinking about all the lovely kids and their parents that I was privileged to meet during my visit. The one thing that stuck with me was that all these children have had things to deal with that no child should ever have to deal with. Despite that, they all made the most of what they had still smiling and laughing. I never once heard any of the children or their parents complaining about what a tough time they were having.
I can only wish that my take of life could be like that.

I have been doing the rounds with my photo album and telling people of the tremendous work the Sisters of Mercy and the Lawside Romania Project are doing out there in Romania. Claire my daughter is also doing the rounds at school with the pictures and really enjoying it. I am due to give my talk at her school shortly.

Since you showed me around the capital I have been really interested in the history of this beautiful country. I have been down my local library getting some information and am very much enjoying learning about Romania, so thanks for showing me around. One of my friends has been out on a few occasions with his work and we have been swapping Bucharest stories. I can almost certainly say that I will be back again to see more of the good work going on.

“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