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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

We should pray for mothers

February 7th, 2011 No comments

Bucharest, 2005

We speak a lot – sometimes too much – about the mothers who abandon their ill children but there are many other mothers who suffer every day with their little ones. Mothers who would be able, without any hesitation, to give up their lives or their health to offer one  more hour of life or less pain to their child.
Daily I meet mothers who have lost all hope for their child’s recovery, yet they have the strength to resign themselves to God’s will. Every day I see their tears, their tired faces, their mouth hardly able to speak their sorrow. They need our daily prayers and we must not let them down!
Only God can truly help and console a mother who daily sees her dying child.

Mothers of ill children at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital

 

In our Lawside Romania Project work during the past years we have met hundreds of mothers. Each has a unique story to tell but all carry that look of worry, pain and anxiety as they walk or sit with their child.
One mother was traumatised by the fact that, while she had a lovely teenage daughter in Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital Oncology Ward, she had to go to another hospital and visit her 15 year-old son who had been infected with HIV through a blood injection and now developed AIDS. Many mothers here shared her grief and this sharing was such an inspiration for me.

Mothers of ill children at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital 

What can you say to console a mother who arrives at Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital with a dying child of only 2 days? The baby has a malformed heart and doctors cannot give hope. ‘Why did God allow me to carry that babe for nine months and now this?!’ was all that mother couls say over and over again.
Another mother came to me crying as her son’s health deteriorated: ‘Sister, please say a strong prayer for Nicusor. I just want to feel Jesus is near. May we pray together?’
Iulia’s mother came to me too: ‘Sister, please go to church and pray for my little girl! Please find the priest and ask him to come’. This we did and Iulia’s father, who traveled a long distance from their village and cried out with a kind of anger and grief, was greatly consoled by the prayers of the priest!

Mothers of ill children at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital

At times, the months and even years of child-caring can wear the most loving parent’s patience thin. Lawside Romania Project is there for them. Our Room No. 710 at Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital can be a Haven where, at any time, mothers may come for a chat and a break from daily routine. When doctors bring up the news of the possibility their child may never recover, many mothers are grateful that we share their sorrow.

Mothers of ill children at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital

These mothers suffer and cry every single day but they do not lose hope not even for a second. Pictures of these suffering mothers are an image to follow us in our prayers and meditation moments.

Yes! We shoud pray for mothers!

 

Sister Mary Aloysius

 

Mothers of ill children at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital