Hi, I'm Rick.

My involvement with Hospices of Hope came about through my personal friendship with Graham Perolls. I served as a trustee for the Ellenor Foundation and was there when we approved the first pioneering work in Romania. My first visit to Romania was in 1992.

I had the privilege of chairing the inaugural meeting of the Ellenor Foundation in Dartford. The guest speaker was Dame Cecily Saunders herself who told moving stories about how terminally ill patients in her care were relieved of pain and thus were able to enjoy ‘the treasure’ of conversations with loved ones in their final days. Her words still stay with me – even though it was over thirty years ago. Since then I have made four visits to Romania, taking photographs to be used in publicity and leading training in presentation skills for fund raisers.

I remember meeting an eight year old boy called Cosmin. Here was suffering from a circulatory problem that meant he was terribly emaciated and in awful pain. He told me that his pain stretched from ‘here to Los Angeles'. I told my wife on my return that he would almost certainly be dead by the time I returned to the UK. But Cosmin didn’t die. He actually thrived with the excellent hospice care.  I saw him on two future visits looking so much better. He became a ‘miracle patient’ surviving with good quality of life until he was 21.

 

Hospices of Hope has changed the face of dying in Eastern Europe.  Graham’s vision, and all the  hard work training doctors and nurses, caring for patients, and bringing hope to thousands, has transformed the lives of terminally ill patients.  It is Graham’s legacy to this region and I feel honoured to have been a small part of it.