Posts Tagged ‘Glimpse from 2006’

An Easter Story

February 1st, 2011 No comments

Easter, April 21st 2006

Year after year Lawside Romania Project offers beautiful parties with gifts, food, music and surprises to the children in the oncology department. Lawside Romania Project offers joy for all these unlucky children. Now, for Easter 2006, we had another great party in this ward at Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital.

 2006 Easter party


Children were treated with a tasty traditional meal followed by sweets and fruits and, of course, the famous Easter eggs! At the end, the children enjoyed a large cake with fireworks. What excitement and happiness! Each of them also received wonderful gifts. For the children and their parents this wasn’t all. A big surprise came with the visit of a professional clown who performed and amused everyone. The cherry on top of the cake was the live performance of Los Platanos Band! They came to play traditional and very happy music. Unbelievably, in only a few minutes most of the children found themselves involved in a lively dance, full of joy and optimism!

Los Platanos performing live

Even one hour later, when children were back in their beds with tubes connected to the catheters in their little arms, the memory of the party remained on their faces.

I would like to thank Lawside Romania Project for this drop of Easter Light! Thank you on behalf of the staff of the Oncology Ward!


Lamise Bectemir
Registered Nurse at Marie Curie (Budimex) Children’s Hospital, Bucharest

Feelings & Thoughts – Maureen’s 2006 visit to Romania

December 9th, 2009 No comments

It’s hard to relate all the different feelings and emotions that I experienced during my visit to Romania. Setting out alone I was nervous and excited not really knowing what awaited me at the other end. The only certainty was Sister Mary Aloysius would meet me at the airport. Sister Mary Aloysius had booked me into a flat for my stay. At first the thought of staying in a block of flats alone filled me with apprehension as I looked out of each window in turn. However, very quickly my flat became a haven of rest and seclusion after each busy and eventful day. It was a luxury to get home at night and relax and unwind.

Child at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital in Bucharest
Child at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital in Bucharest

My first visit to Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital in Bucharest was in some ways a culture shock for me. Although I had tried to prepare myself for the worst, some of the conditions the Doctors and nurses have to work in and the children had to live in were very poor. So many sick children, so little space and so few nurses, but the dedication of the staff, the good work being done and the difference the Lawside Romania Project is helping to bring about is overwhelming and helped me cope with the obvious suffering and hardship I encountered in the Oncology Ward, Intensive Care and the Rehabilitation Department.
It was also on my first day that I was taken to meet Mereka whom I was to spend time with and care for during my stay. Immediately he captured my heart. I had no idea then of the worries, the joys, and fears and triumphs that Mereka would bring me in 2 weeks. But I would happily have taken him home with me at the end of it all.
But despite spending a lot of time on Floor 2 of the Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital, helping the play therapists, some time in the playroom, talking with mums and dads and witnessing how they all coped with what little they had, there was lots more to see and experience.

Children at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital in Bucharest
Children at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital in Bucharest

The Dundee S.V.D.P. society had given me a substantial sum of money for the Lawside Romania Project and friends and family too had given generously and I was privileged to see how it was to be spent and the difference it could make to so many lives.

My visit to see Nazareth house, was a lovely but quite humbling experience. The courage and pride the social parents and their grown up sons showed in the care of 5 lovely young boys was very uplifting. It is a very, very happy and love filled home despite the lack of material possessions. The joy and gratitude of the children receiving the simple gifts Traian Despa and I had bought for them was wonderful to see. There were also similar humbling visits to other poor families that the Lawside Romania Project helps regularly.

The next area of the Lawside Romania Project I was to visit was the ‘Meals on wheels’ scheme for the really needy or elderly. The different homes I visited showed me a real poverty. Large families struggling in difficult conditions to stay together, needing support, help and basic necessities like food on the table. An elderly couple praying that each of them will be enabled to help the other survive. An old lady so grateful for the help she was getting but so proud of her spotless home, however little she possessed. so many needs, so much hardship and yet such faith in God and an acceptance of what for people at home in UK would be totally unacceptable. To be able to provide a decent hot meal every day, to be able to help make homes more habitable, to bring joy, hope and the promise of some little security & comfort to these people was a very rewarding and humbling experience I will never forget.

How people can survive with so little and be so grateful  for so little, filled me with a warm glow, but also made me determined to take the message home to others so that they too will have the opportunity to help in a very practical way.

I could go on and on about my thoughts, feelings and experiences with many similar stories, but will sum up by saying I have never witnessed such faith and love despite the poverty and dreadful conditions people are proud to be living in. Even those without running water, cooking facilities, etc., give thanks to God for what they have.



November 20th, 2009 No comments

Who would credit that little Cristian Mirică is two years and seven months old! He is so small! It is May 2006 and he has just arrived at Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital in Bucharest. I realized his needs are many. Firstly, although almost three years old, he could neither talk nor walk. Having a cleft palate he could not eat normal food – only milk. Nevertheless he was hungry. Bit by bit, with love and care, he is slowly improving and, hopefully, will continue to develop after the palate operation. Keeping him washed, renewing pampers and taking him outside in a push chair daily is a joy to do but the biggest joy was to see him, at last, take an interest in toys. I could hardly believe I would get such satisfaction seeing him choose a toy and playing with it. I hope and pray this is the first step into a normal life. I know this seems distant but Jesus tells us to PRAY and TRUST! All we can do otherwise for this little abandoned child is to make life here, however short, as happy as possible.

Sister Mary Aloysius

Later edit: Cristian’s life was short. He passed away in 2008. Yet, there are still many memories that have to be told…

Cristian Mirica's burial place


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