1. A hospital with no air conditioning in a city where the summer heat exceeds 90 degrees.
2. One nurse for 36 pediatric oncology patients (the norm in the US is 1 nurse for 6 patients).
3. Not having certain common cancer medications available (nystatin is not available in Romania) and the only way patients receive certain meds is through hospice that receives them as donations from the UK.
4. That when hospice runs out of meds there is just not any more until they receive a donation and patients have to do without.
5. That the only way you receive care in the hospital from a physician or nurse is with a bribe. This is a long story and has to do with the low salaries and not being able to survive on salary alone so the bribes are needed to live. Hospice workers do not accept bribes.
6. That mothers have to sleep in a small bed with their sick child in the hospital and no food is provided to them despite their round the clock presence.
7. That several hospice workers do not have cars (unaffordable for many) and take buses or trams to patient’s homes.
8. That many do not have bathrooms and their toilet is a hole in the ground outside. This also means no sink to bathe or for healthcare providers to wash hands.
And with such joy I say can you imagine???
1. Physicians who say to me to teach them, they want to learn from me.
2. Nurses who work very hard for little salary (the best nurses salary is $450 per month and for comparison my rent is 550 per month) and do so smiling and without complaints.
3. That this program, even with its limitations, makes a huge difference in the lives of patients it serves.
4. How humbled I am to work with such an amazing group of people who accept that change is slow and hard to come by but never give up!

The hospice office

The hospice office

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