Helping out in Romania
Nurse’s time caring for cleft lip kids
Vanessa Martin and husband John spoke about nursing in Romania from 1996 to 2013.
Vanessa was a manager in an NHS hospital in the plastic surgery unit and her speciality service was caring for children with cleft lip and palate.
A British surgical team was sent to Spitalul de Copii, a children’s hospital in central Romania, and Vanessa was asked to go with them and be responsible for post-operative care.
She was given leave from her post for two weeks each year. The surgeon and anaesthetist were there for one week and Vanessa stayed an extra seven days to ensure the nurses and mothers of the children who had been operated on understood how to care for them.
John gave a visual presentation to accompany the talk. From the slides, members were able to see the village, conditions in the hospital and many photographs of the children.
The surgeon was skilled and the difference in the child’s appearance amazing. Only the mother could stay in the hospital and had to sleep in the same bed as their child.
Children from a nearby orphanage were also treated. Vanessa enjoyed her time there immensely, working with the staff and teaching them care as they did not receive any formal training as British nurses do.
Jean Young thanked Vanessa and John for giving members an insight to cleft lip and palate and about how the treatment for this disfiguring condition can make such a difference to a child’s life.
Tea was then served, after which the business part of the evening took place.
Names were taken for an evening at Dalbeattie on November 9, a trip to headquarters on November 29, the team for the Ruralympics and the Christmas dinner.
Voting papers were handed out and a few articles handed in for the shoe boxes. Money was collected for the annual subscription for the SWI magazine before Jean closed the meeting.
The competition results were announced as follows:
Fruit loaf: 1 Christine Sutcliffe; 2 Sarah Eade; 3 Margaret Gordon.
Pretty plate: 1 Agnes Gordon; 2 Irene Henry; 3 Ann Brooks; 4 Jean Young.
Flower: 1 Christine Sutcliffe; 2 Jennifer Thom; 3 Linda Gordon.