First shipment update

We’ve just heard from Victoria that all the deliveries are now done. Victoria and John will visit the hospital in Chisinau tomorrow, Thursday, to check that the equipment is on the wards. Deliveries were carried out in a hired transit van beautifully decorated with our sponsors’ signs and our own.

New bedside cabinet on a ward

The bedside cabinets have been a huge hit. The ones they are replacing are basic and often broken. Victoria says “the hospital here (in Riscani) is fighting over 16 bedside cabinets.” The extent of the need for modern equipment is almost overwhelming. But while it’s true that we’re just scratching the surface, there is no doubt that everything we’ve been able to send to Moldova is making a difference.

Conditions are worse than Victoria had expected. She knew things were bad, but not as bad as they actually are. In Riscani she was shown an Xray room which dates from the 1960s. Xrays have to be developed in a darkroom and hung up to dry.

Moldovan TV has given us access to a video showing extensively decaying windows, walls and ceilings, beds with broken springs that are ripping into the already inadequate, stained mattresses, broken tiles and flooring so worn and thin it has shredded – there’s no other word for it.

As well as touring hospitals with equipment, Victoria and John have visited Olga, the young woman from Victoria’s village who is isolated at home for many hours each day by her mobility problems. They’ve also been back to see Alexandru, the elder of the two boys who received our first wheelchairs at Christmas.

More wheelchairs have been delivered this time, and there are more in the pipeline, so we hope that as time goes on, many more Moldovan children with disabilities will have access to the mobility aids they need.

First Shipment on its way

On Monday, March 4th, 2013, just five months after our launch, our first lorry filled with beds and medical equipment left the Isle of Wight for Moldova.

The lorry and our volunteers arrived on site at A E Brown Farms in Merstone at 8 a.m. There was a bitterly cold wind, and the sun remained stubbornly behind the clouds until the job was finished, but nothing could dampen the spirits of anyone who was there. Six months ago, this was just a dream. Now it is a reality.

The store that the farm had lent us for free was full, and we needed every inch of lorry space. With a lot of hard work and careful packing, the load was assembled so that it could be unloaded in the right order as the lorry travels from hospital to hospital.
The last bed is loaded onto the truck.

The last bed is loaded onto the truck.

Loading was managed by Victoria Dunford and our new Trustee Ruslan Ciobanu, with help from friends and volunteers. In an unbelievably short space of time the lorry was full and the load was being finally secured before the doors were closed. Just after 10.30 the lorry left the farm on its way to Moldova.

The lorry leaves on its journey to Moldova. The lorry leaves on its journey to Moldova.

We could not have done it without the help of many friends and supporters, and we have learned an enormous amount along the way. This is just the start. We’re not only helping update very poorly equipped hospitals, we’re also saving the NHS and local organisations thousands of pounds in disposal costs.

At the Wightlink Ferry Terminal at Fishbourne (thank you Wightlink) we added our sponsors’ support signs to the sides of the cab. Each company has sponsored a sign to contribute to the cost of the shipment. We aim to make this a bigger feature and opportunity for Island businesses in future. Sponsors for this trip were 1stbabyshop, HJ Bennett, Wight Leaflets, ESP Design and Print, Island Eye and PC Consultants. Other generous donations were received from Tad from Diametric, Roger Skidmore, Sandown and Shanklin Rotary and Ryde Rotary. Enormous thanks to you all.

We’ll be keeping in touch with Victoria and John, who are travelling out to Moldova to supervise delivery, and we’ll update you as things unfold. Meanwhile, if you’ve supported us this far, THANK YOU. We really value all you’ve done.