Costica's Story

Costica (real name Constantin Florea, DOB 19 Oct 1969), was admitted to the hospital on the 31st  January 1985 at the age of 16, when his mother died, and his father could not cope.  He has two brothers and one sister, all the boys have a mental handicap, but the sister does not.  Costica has TB and Hepatitus, along with only 48% of his brain functioning as it should, which leads to his various mental problems.

Costica was discharged from the hospital in October 2001 due to cut backs, not because he was fit to leave.  His father remarried some years ago and there are now four children in the family, all grown up.  They had little contact with him while he was in the hospital, but now had to look after him.

Costica has always been a good friend to the NNRT, and he has 'helped' us with simple tasks and enjoyed doing them.  A few years ago during a bad bout of illness he was at deaths door and team members who were in the village at the time nursed him back to health, when the hospital had given up on him, and actually told him he was going to die.

During the NNRT visit in August 2002, we heard that he was not happy at home and had been coming back to the hospital and sleeping rough in the gardens, even in bad weather.  We saw the head nurse at the hospital who said that he could come back, but only if his place was funded.  One of our team members said they were happy to do that.

We decided to seek him out and see what his situation was.  This took a bit of doing as we were only given brief directions as to where he was living, not a proper address.  We found endless blocks of flats in a run down area of a a village called Codlea, about 8 miles from the hospital.  We were lucky to have Istvan (our interpreter) with us and he asked everyone we met if they knew Costica, we knocked on lots of doors and about an hour later were lucky to find a lady out with her children who knew where he was and took us there.  We would never have found him without her help.

His stepmother answered the door.  It turned out that Costica had just come out of hospital as he had broken a leg while playing football with some local kids, which had to be pinned and plastered.  She told us he was unhappy at home as his father was a violent man with a drink problem and he beats him, which had caused him to run away several times.

Costica was asleep and when he woke to find us there, I think he thought he was dreaming. 'Mum' told us that Costica had said he had parents in England....and there they were !   He was overjoyed to see us.  We had a chat with Costica's Mum and said that if we agreed to pay for his stay, were they willing for him to go back to the hospital.  She said that was what he wanted, and they wanted too, but could not afford to fund him, which is why he was still there.   We arranged to pick him up at 1pm, and explained the situation to Costica, who still thought he was dreaming.

We collected him and his things and his mother came along to settle him in.  His father was there to see him off, but Costica did not give him a second glance, nor say goodbye.  Peter and one of the more able younger patients carried him into the hospital like royalty, everyone clapping and touching him.  It was very emotional.

               

We paid cash in advance for Costica to stay for one year, and will find the funding for further years.  Costica is so happy to be 'home' again.

It costs 7,320,000 Lei (146) to keep Costica in the hospital for one year, a very small price for happiness.

Article submitted by Vanessa and Peter Tolson.