Melanie Gomes,  a brave young woman who’s a valuable volunteer for the Dany Foundation, has made several visits in July to the pension of ‘Madeira’ to discuss the problems of the residents. In this report below you can read what she found out.

Good evening Grace, as discussed i have taken pictures of A.’s room. These are of the walls, ceiling and the windows. As you can see there’s holes everywhere where cockroaches are hiding. The windows don’t have any curtains , newspapers are being used instead. Today A. told me that she’s been filling buckets with water lately in order to trap and drown the mice and rats which have been a plague in the other pensions as well. This is how she kills them..

The man who is sharing a room with R. today opened up to me about his money problems and how they get such little support. It’s heartbreaking to hear how much they are affected by all their circumstances. You can tell there’s a lot of grief with him for instance, i think that’s why he developed a drinking problem. It’s a shame because he is only in his fifties and has a wonderful family. He completely lights up when he’s showing pictures of his family.

R. is going to have his treatment soon. He will be operated. He looks tired but he doesn’t tell much. I went to see him today right away. I can’t help it but be touched profoundly by these people. If possible i had taken them into my own house but unfortunately it’s not that easy. Today we were talking about the beach for example. The room mate of R. has never been to the beach even though he has been in Portugal for six years already because of his kidney treatment! Wouldn’t it be nice if these people could have a care free day at the beach just to take their mind of their problems and to be away from their depressing surroundings? I want to give R. a day of fun before he weakens because of the operation or should I just take him out for a walk? R. will be a couple of days in the pension and a couple of days in the hospital. He’s being very nochalant about it all, only he doesn’t seem to realize what’s ahead of him…

He spoke with his mother when i was with him and it broke my heart. I had asked him when he spoke to his family for the last time and it had been more than a week ago. So I let him use my telephone to contact them. Really R. is just a little boy who needs to have his mother at his side but at the same time he’s afraid to ask for any help. Trying to keep up a brave front. His room mate also told me he’s too shy to ask for any help with the other residents and doesn’t talk much. This has been a summary of the time i spent with them.
Warm regards

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