To celebrate our 30 years of providing hospice care across South East Europe, we took the opportunity to feature some of the amazing stories of the patients we have helped. One of the patients we featured was Cristi.

Born into a troubled family, Cristi experienced many hardships. His father left home when he was 2 and his mother got together with another man who murdered her in front of Cristi when he was just 9 years old. From then on he lived with his grandmother in very poor living conditions, but soon began to fall ill. It took another 6 years for Cristi to finally be diagnosed correctly with cystic fibrosis. Due to the stress of his home-life and the time it took to diagnose him, his condition deteriorated.

Fortunately, Cristi came into contact with Hospice Casa Sperantei when he was 17. The home-care team was able to provide him with regular physiotherapy treatment and other medical and nursing care and his condition improved significantly. When his grandmother passed away, Hospice Casa Sperantei was able to help him with accommodation. For Cristi, this was the start of a completely new life. Hospice became his home and he began to understand what ‘family’ meant.

When the new Bucharest hospice opened in 2014, he was offered a job as a receptionist. As his disease continued to progress, he had spells of ill health and several times was admitted to hospital. Whilst in hospital, he met a lovely girl called Dana and they married in 2018. In 2019, he was told that his only hope would be lung transplant, as they were working at such reduced capacity. The medical service in Romania was unable to offer him one, so he was added to the waiting list. Many people who saw him during this time thought this was the end of the road for him. During Christmas 2018 he was very sick.

In theory, patients who are unable to receive adequate medical care in their home country are entitled to travel to another country to receive that care. Cristi came over to the UK and was admitted to the cystic fibrosis unit at Nottingham hospital. His wife Dana, took a job in nearby Mansfield. In October this year, a lung became available at Papworth hospital and he was rushed there. However, he was then told the devastating news that the lung was not a good match. People were praying hard for him, hoping a miracle would happen and later that night their prayers were answered when Cristi was gifted with the opportunity to receive a double lung transplant. He came through the operation and the first crucial few weeks against all the odds. He is still recovering from the operation, but Graham, our founder who has known Cristi since he was 17, was able to visit him at home in Mansfield and was amazed to see him looking so well. Christmas 2021 is looking very different for him! He is immensely grateful for his new lease of life and for the wonderful medical treatment he has received in the UK. He believes that God has a real purpose for his future.

If you would like to support our work as we continue to provide vital care and support to patients like Cristi, you can do so by donating now.