My name is Catherine and I joined the team in Brasov in 1995 as a palliative care nurse involved in the training and development of the home care team working alongside Drs Petre, Daniella and Marianna, and nurses Gabi, Doina, Isabella and Mircea. I was also involved in setting up the Study Centre in Brasov and developing and delivering the first education programme with expertise from Greenwich University and visiting doctors and nurses from the UK.

I first heard about Hospices of Hope when working as a palliative care nurse in Oxford. I felt led to explore the possibility of working in Romania and met Graham (Perolls). As a result I joined the Ellenor Foundation and worked with the nursing team in the UK until I had the opportunity to join the team in Romania. I worked in Brasov for a total of 3 years, initially with the home care team and subsequently in the education centre. It was a transformative experience, and one which I will never forget. A highlight was going back to Brasov for the opening of the in-patient hospice unit.

I have so many special memories it would be hard to single one out. Being welcomed into the heart of so many families, experiencing the warmth of Romanian hospitality, sharing times of joy and sorrow. Being alongside a patient as they were dying, seeking to bring relief from pain and other symptoms and providing support for their families. Being part of a dedicated, compassionate, and committed Romanian team who desperately wanted to see an improvement in the care available to such patients.

It has been a privilege to be a small part of such an incredible project, to have met so many wonderful people, the patients and families, my colleagues at Hospices of Hope and the many volunteers. To see the vision Graham had so long ago for palliative care services in Romania and beyond fulfilled has been amazing.