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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

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

Love to All We Met

February 2nd, 2011 No comments

Love to All Those Children and Elderly Ladies We Met!

(How Lawside Romania Project changes the lives of many)

In 2008 my sister Ita and I spent a week in Romania with our aunt Sister Mary Aloysius over New Year’s. I have to say it was one of the most worthwhile and memorable holidays I’ve ever had. For years I’ve been meaning to go to Bucharest to see all the good work Lawside Romania Project is doing there, but seeing it in real life was amazing and it was lovely to be part of it all for the short time we were there.

Barbara McAteer

Paying our daily visits to the Oncology Ward of Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital, visiting little Floricica, Luis and Gabriel was truly special. The bond we formed with those little babies will stay with me forever. I look at their pictures regularly on my computer and they remind me about the simplicity of life, and how lucky I was to have parents that were always there for me. We spent an evening in the Recuperare (Rehabilitation Ward) with some older orphan children who were extremely excited about the bag of jumpers and little cuddly toys we brought in for them. They were so unspoilt and ready to smile for any little bit of attention that was shown to them.

Barbara McAteer and Luis

Another day with went with Rita Tudor on her visits to three elderly ladies who benefitted from the “Meals on wheels” Programme that was set up by the Lawside Romania Project. Seeing the poor conditions these ladies lived in was hard but it was so lovely to spend time with them and they all told us how much they benefitted from the food that was being provided to them and also from the visits that were set up by the team.  A younger person was going to their home on a regular basis to keep them company. I’m sure this makes a huge difference in their lives.

Traian Despa took us to visit a lovely family, a lady who was looking after her 11 children and whose husband had died.
Lawside Romania Fund had organised doing up their home for them previously which made it lovely and comfortable for them to live in. Although it was small it was very “homely”, and I believe it had pretty much been a ruin before being done up. This was a very special visit, as I too come from a family of 11 children and the children entertained us with songs and poetry the whole time we were there. They were the sweetest family I think I’ve ever met, so pleasant and good natured and very talented.

Traian Despa took us on a visit to “Nazareth” on our last day. There we met five little orphan boys who were being looked after by a carer family which had been arranged by Sister Mary Aloysius and her team. The carer family had two older sons who had been well educated and were a very good influence on these young boys. I was very impressed with the talents of these young boys, who were only too willing to show us their school work and entertain us with songs. They were very good fun to be around and it was obvious to see they had formed a very good bond together as a family unit being looked after in “Nazareth”.

I was inspired and humbled by the love and hard work Sister Aloysius, Traian Despa and the team of staff and doctors put into their work to make the lives of many children and elderly people a more pleasant place to live in. The people they help I feel would have very little hope without the love and support they get from the team. I will definitely be going back for another visit soon, hopefully in the summer time when the weather is a bit better. In the meantime I’m sending lots of love to all those children and elderly ladies we met on our visit and will be keeping them in my memory forever.

Barbara McAteer (itec, LCICI, ARCHTI)

Holistic Therapies Ireland