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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

A Step in Every Day

January 17th, 2011 No comments

During my time in Romania I have been in daily contact with such a variety of sick children – a variety of diseases – a variety of characters! For the most part I have been impressed by the positive attitude of these little ones.

An outstanding case is that of Eduard! 2005 was Eduard’s third year in Budimex (Marie Curie) Children Hospital and, when I first saw him in Ward 1 (Pediatric Ward) I concluded (in my ignorance) that he would always be confined to a bed or wheel-chair. Why? Because here was a little eight year-old boy whose legs were much shorter than normal and were so bent back underneath his body that he sat on them. All the time he smiled and showed gratitude and joy to receive any gift; be it coloured pencils, books or toys.

Eduard in a wheel-chair (2005)

Eduard in a wheel-chair (2005)

Doctor Burnei (a famous surgeon here) took Eduard’s case to heart and has done several operations on his legs to straighten and possibly lengthen them. Now here comes Eduard speeding on his wheel-chair, legs stretched out in front but best of all he wants to demonstrate the fact that he can, with great effort, take one step. Back in his chair he assures us that he will, every day, take another step! And – highest hope – that one day he will kick a ball!

Eduard put all his dreams and hopes in this poem named “Rugăciune” (“Prayer”) and sent it to us showing his trust and belief in the power of God. In the first part of the poem he describes with a nice talent all his wishes from God. In the second part we can see his optimistic outlook and the end of the poem moves us to tears: ‘I know to-morrow I will be the winner’.

We know now that with his trust in God’s power he will be able to get a step in every day.

God bless him!

Sister Mary Aloysius

Beautiful poem written by little Eduard (2005)

“Rugăciune” (“Prayer”)

Offering a Drop of Joy

“Suffer the little children to come unto me” – This text from Scripture came so alive in a room in the intensive care unit of floor seven in Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital. Meet the little children there – Louis, two and a half years old, Gabriel (almost two years old) and Jeo who is nine months. Louis has cancer, Gabriel is hydro encephalic and baby Jeo has leukaemia. Daily we really do care for these little ones. It’s such a privilege, then, one day the priest arrived dressed in vestments and carrying a small silver chalice. From this he took Holy Communion in the form of wine and using a little spoon, he gave Jesus to each child. Looking at those little babies and seeing wonder in their eyes I felt truly in the presence of God.

Ill child at Budimex Hospital in Bucharest (Bucuresti)

Offering a drop of joy for ill children at Budimex

Louis needs no introduction! Most people in the hospital recognise this little two and a half year old for he has been here since birth. As he never had a visitor we have taken on the special care he needs. His illness is severe as his immune system is low. On floor seven he has a daily regime of care being given any medicines needed. Doctors, nurses and carers love Louis; one nurse even had him at her wedding dressed up in a pin striped suit. Now – alas – it has been discovered he has a tumour attached to one lung. Hopes of restoration of health are not strong but miracles still occur. We will continue our daily care.

Ill child at Budimex Hospital in Bucharest (Bucuresti)

Offering a drop of joy for ill children at Budimex

It is a joy to introduce you to Gabriel for he has an angelic spirit. Although he is almost two years old, he is still tiny as he has not grown because of his illness. There he lies, smiling if we touch his face with affection but he is unable to move. Smile – having acquired a new and comfortable pram we got permission to take Gabriel for a little journey up the long corridor. What a thrill it was to see wonder in his eyes as he looked at the coloured pictures on the walls. Not a word could he speak but the happy smile and movement of those eyes spoke volumes. How very privileged we are to care for this little child.

Meet Andreea. She is a patient in Floor 5 – the Oncology Ward at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital. She is one of the most affectionate children and runs to hug any visitor to her ward. Andreea cannot speak but her eyes and her gestures say to all who come near “I love you”. Toys, especially dolls give her joy but she is ready to leave all of these things just to get a hug from a visitor. How easy it is to bring happiness into a child’s life.

Ill child with a Barbie doll at Budimex Hospital in Bucharest (Bucuresti)

Offering a drop of joy for ill children at Budimex

Fabian has been a long time in hospital in the Oncology Ward. I cannot read minds but, when he came shyly to me and touched my arm I knew he had a special request! Yes – he longed for a remote-controlled car! What wonder shone in his eyes when he awakened from an afternoon nap to find the desired car on his pillow!

Ill child lying in bed at Budimex Hospital in Bucharest (Bucuresti)

Offering a drop of joy for ill children at Budimex

Meet Jeo who shares a room with Gabriel. What a little wriggler! He is only eight months old but those impish eyes speak volumes. He is clever enough to know that, if he does a 360 degree turn in the cot getting entangled in the blanket, someone will surely lift him and nurse him back to sleep. Alas! He has leukemia with no hope of bone-marrow transplant. We keep on appealing for a bone-marrow facility for Bucharest but are constantly told the money is not available. To offer comfort to these unlucky, abandoned children is the most important part of our mission in the Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital in Bucuresti.

Every morning when I attend Mass I hold these children in my prayers and I thank God for the energy He gives me to be a support to them and to be able to offer a drop of joy in their sad lives.

Sister Mary Aloysius