Some of you will know of a young lady, Ionela, the trainee doctor, in Romania, who, in the second half of last year, suffered an unbelievable sequence of major, life-threatening medical issues. Ionela was 23 in November: I’ve known the family since 1991 from one of my earliest visits to Romania. The family were then – and still are – desperately poor (though it’s got massively worse in recent months). Many families could never afford medical or dental treatment for their kids – it’s very expensive – so the result is that there are many, now teens and twenties, with a lot of problems. Ionela’s faimly home, in the far north of the country, was always ill-equipped/decorated/furnished – no bath, no running water in the house (common in Moldovan villages in the north of Romania), outside toilet (not a problem most of the year, but – like now in Moldova (their region of Romania), it’s forecast to be dropping to -29°C tonight….
About 18 months ago, Ionela became a Christian, which was wonderful, but she seems to have been under constant ‘attack’ since then.
Ionela, astonishingly, is very ill again – she has had digestive and stomach problems for many of the years I’ve known her. Recently, the pain massivley intensified: I was able to help her with some money to go to the doctor, who immediately sent her to hospital, where she had various tests (it ended up costing me my rent for December! 🙁 ), including an endoscopy and colonoscopy: she has a perforated ulcer, which the doctors are trying to treat with ,edication, but they have said she really needs urgent surgery, as it is in danger of bursting, which would mean peritonitis and possible septicaemia, which are killers….she’s had another endoscopy today, which has confirmed that it is deteriorating. She’s unable to eat, only able to take a little soup and water.
For those who didn’t catch up with Ionela’s series of crises, I’ll just annotate them:
- Large cancerous tumour discovered in the summer: first Oncologist brusquely ‘prognosed’ immediate mastectomy: in a 22 year old (as she was then) pretty girl, you can imagine what that did to her emotionally and psychologically, as well as the fear of the cancer. I paid for a second Oncologist opinion who said that wasn’t necessary, that he could remove the tumour and rebuild her breast. In the end, he removed it almost surgery free with laser.
- While waiting for that surgery, she haemorraged massively, having had 10 years of menstrual problems previously, was diagnosed, the given the prognosis that she needed an urgent hysterectomy, BEFORE the cancer surgery. Everything was removed – womb, ovaries, everything… she’s always been a girl who longed for the day when she’d have children, which, of course, is now impossible. That happened in October, closely followed by the cancer surgery.
- While she was in hospital, her dad died, 55 years old, heart failure. She wasn’t told until she left hospital.
- Within a couple of weeks, abdominal pain had still not subsided: it was discovered that her appendix was in terrible condition, and she had to go back to hospital for an appendectomy.
- Early in December, due to the condition of the family home, there was an electrical fire, which destroyed everything in the house and part of the roof. All of mum’s clothes went (Ionela is currently in Bucharest for her studies), furniture (such as it was), bed, electrical goods (fridge, cooker), windows, and a lot of damage to the walls. Mum, traumatised by the loss of her husband, home, and her daughter’s continual life-threatening medical issues, has been staying with Ionela since the house fire: she wants to go home, but it’s impossible until at least one room is renovated. I’ve been trying to help there, with the roof and walls now repaired, but it needs rewiring, and then everything basic repurchased, like heating, the appliances, etc., I’m financially drained dry now….
The great news is that Ionela is well now from cancer, from the hysterectomy, the threat of peritonitis from the appendix…..if you helped with those treatments, you’re part of savng her life
I know that a number of you helped with Ionela’s costs last year: can I ask if you’d be willing to help her – and mum, with the house – again, please? The cost of Ionela’s treatment, then (urgent) surgery, is 1800 euros (£1600, US$ 2000, AU$2160) and the cost of rebuilding one room, sufficiently well for mum to be able to live there, is 800 euros (£700, US$870, AU$1155. It’s hard to explain how Ionela feels: the fear, the frustration, the shock, trauma – and all since she’s known God. Trying to explain why that is, to her, is quite hard, believe me! What has ‘kept’ her is chatting every day on Skype or WhatsApp, but more – the love and kindness of people like you, who saved her life more than once last year.
If you can help, and are a UK tax payer and happy to gift aid – www.stewardship.org.uk, account 20028331 (Paul Bennison, Healing Ministries Worldwide). If you can’t gift aid, internet bank transfer (or paid into a bank branch) – P A Bennison, Halifax, 11-08-75, acct 00256003, or PayPal (email@example.com). From outside UK, a wire transfer is great (IBAN GB06HLFX11087500256003, BIC HLFXGB21Y30 P A Bennison) or PayPal.
Thank you, bless you. As well as life-saving, you’re continually part of the growing faith in a lovely young woman in Romania.