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Young hospice patient captures the heart and hand of a royal visitor

Last week, the Prince of Wales spent three days in Romania for a royal visit. Whilst there, he paid a visit to Hospice Casa Sperantei. Located in Bucharest, the hospice is celebrating its 25th anniversary from its founding by the British charity, Hospices of Hope.

Maria is a young patient at the facility; she immediately captured the heart of the 2nd in line when she grabbed his hand with confidence as he stopped by to see the work she had done with her craft project. The Prince spent about an hour at the hospice with patients and staff.

The late Diana, Princess of Wales, made a donation to the hospice and served as an early supporter. The first educational centre is named after her. The centre’s patron is Georgina, Duchess of Norfolk. Graham Perolls, the Founder of Hospices of Hope, has been recognised for his charitable work by The Queen. The then British Ambassador of Romania recommended him, and Her Majesty made him a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George for 22 years of extraordinary service in a foreign country.

During the last quarter century, the hospice has transformed the care patients receive in the poverty-stricken nation, particularly the terminally ill and those with life-limiting conditions. The care to those near the end of their lives is dignified. Support for families is also provided in the forms of social and spiritual support.

To commemorate the facility’s anniversary, the Prince cut a cake. According to Charity News Today: “The royal visit recognises that the work of Casa Sperantei demonstrates the benefits of collaboration between Britain and other European countries and has influenced the way Romanians think about palliative care.”

After providing the Prince with a guided tour around the facility, Mr Parolls told Charity News Today about the royal visit: “It was a huge honour to have the Prince visit Hospice Casa Sperantei. It was a joy to watch him interact so naturally with both our adult and child patients.

“He was also extremely interested in our new children’s hospice and therapy centre at Copaceni which involves the restoration of a Romanian heritage building.

“The Prince is the patron of nine UK hospices, so he understands the needs of those affected by terminal illness.”

Hospice Casa Sperantei has grown to include two purpose built-in patient hospices, two educational and training facilities and two rural clinics. Professionals from over 20 countries have received training, allowing for the establishment of more than 100 small hospice organisations throughout South Eastern Europe. All the hospice funds are raised locally, and fundraisers have received effective training. The charity is expanding its care to Serbia and Moldova, as well.

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