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.

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