Copaceni – our unique children’s respite and therapy Centre

In 2012 members of the Florescu family donated their beautiful country estate, “Copaceni,” to Hospice Casa Sperantei.

This generous gift was made to help the thousands of children in Romania suffering from life-limiting illnesses such as muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis. The majority of these children do not receive any support from the state and cannot integrate into the school system. Many also struggle to be accepted by society. 

To help these children and their families we are converting the estate into a unique children’s respite and therapy centre. Some of our children’s summer trips are already being held at Copaceni. Caring for a child with a life-limiting illness impacts on the whole family and the emphasis of our care at Copaceni will be to support the entire family unit. 

The centre is opening in September 2018 and will provide:-


See the refurbishment work

One of our supporters Rick Woodward recently visited Copaceni and took some amazing photographs for us. Check them out!

Who will benefit from Copaceni?

There are more than 5,000 children in the Bucharest area alone who would benefit from the Centre. 

One example is M – a little boy with “glass bones”. The facilities at Copaceni would be ideal to help him and his family.

M is from Bucharest. He was diagnosed at birth with imperfect osteogenesis.  He was so fragile that his parents could not hold or hug him and his birth itself led to bone fractures. His condition is rare and very little was known about the care and treatment of a child with fragile bones in Romania when he was a baby.

M’s parents are devoted to him but his care regime is demanding. Changing a nappy needed at least two people and he could only be fed milk when he was lying on his back. 

M is now 8, but his height and weight are of a 4 year old. To date he has suffered 15 fractures, some of them needing surgery. His thigh-bone has fractured in the same place on six occasions and he was unable to walk because of the risk of damage to his spine.

M has had some treatment in Canada and is recovering from that. But he is one of the exceptions - many children in Romania in his situation would receive little ongoing care which is why the Copaceni facility is so important. The centre could help with his post-op physiotherapy and rehabilitation. Play therapy would give M the chance to relax, give him intellectual stimulation and the chance to interact socially and virtual reality techniques will help with pain control. Finally counsellors would support M’s family. 


Introducing New Technologies to help our patients

Virtual and Augmented Reality techniques

In Romania we have started to introduce virtual and augmented reality techniques.

Initially this technology will help our child patients but in the longer term it will be extended to adults as well.

VR has been shown to reduce levels of pain and have a stimulating or calming effect on patients – depending on need.

VR and AR will be the main focus for our Tech House in Copaceni but we are also using this technology in our hospices.  We have introduced virtual reality into the hospice in Bucharest and our children are already benefiting from this ground breaking project.

Dr Brennan Spiegel -Dr.  Brennan Spiegel, MD, is an Ambassador for the project, using his expertise to support the development of hospice care in Eastern Europe.

He directs the Cedars-Sinai Centre for Outcomes Research and Education (CS-CORE), a multidisciplinary team that investigates how digital health technologies — including wearable biosensors, smartphone applications, virtual reality and social media — can strengthen the patient-doctor bond, improve outcomes and save money.

He has been working with patients in hospital settings using virtual reality techniques. As can be seen from these links VR can reduce anxiety and pain levels in patients which, in turn, can reduce the need for opiate based treatments.

We are very grateful for his support and for the support given to us by a team at

Stamford University who will provide guidance on the project in the future.  

Our HelpApp

Thanks to funding from Bristol Myers Squibb we are developing a new App which will help our patients in Romania. Once established we hope to launch the system in Serbia as well.

The App allows patients to upload their health data. That data is then monitored by our medical team who will take action as appropriate.

The App also allows patients to book appointments online and, when appropriate, for some consultations to take place online.  This means that patients have increased access to care and more patients can be helped. 

This service will also be available through the web and patients will be able to borrow equipment if needed.

For more information see this demonstration: