After hearing about the state her son Ciprian was in, hungry, thirsty and neglected, Ioana Bălan went straight to the hospital-home.
She asked the nurse if anyone had cared for the boy, such as if he had been given a massage, or treatment. The nurses told him he didn’t even eat any food: ‘We couldn’t give him any, because he could choke, and we were afraid something might happen to him and then we would get in trouble.’
Ioana then went to the physiotherapist from Bucharest and asked her the same questions. She replied: ‘We haven’t started physiotherapy yet, but right now, in your presence, we’re going to get the boy and start therapy.’
Ioana pretended to leave, but from a distance, hidden behind a wall, she watched the scene. The physiotherapist tried to get him to do some exercises, but Ciprian didn’t have the strength to stay in a sitting position for long. The woman yelled at him: ‘Stay like this, damn it!’
When she heard this, Ioana says she tiptoed down the hospital hallways to make sure no one heard her. Once she was out in the street, “desperately crying and running” she went to the town hall. From there she called her husband.
She told him to bring the cart urgently to Nicorești hospital, to take her and Ciprian. The husband tried to reassure her, by saying “nothing will happen to him”, but Ioana’s determination and despair couldn’t be assuaged. “Now, immediately!” she said.
“If you don’t come, I’m not coming back home. Bring the cart at once!”
She then returned to the hospital, where the nurses advised her to take Ciprian home if she wanted the boy to live: “Aunty, if you leave him here you might take him back dead. Take him home. Are you tired of him?”
Ioana replied: “How can I be tired of him? If I was tired of him, I would have put him in a home.”
The nurse responded: “Take him home then.”
But the Head Nurse told Ioana that she couldn’t let Ciprian go. She needed the doctor’s signature, and the doctor was not in the hospital
“I can’t give him to you because I’ll be penalized, but you can steal him.”
“Nurse, what kind of country is this in which I have to steal my own child?”
Ioana said she wasn’t going to leave without Ciprian. Her insistence paid off and she was given permission to take her son out of the hospital. She dressed him and put him in the cart, between her and her husband, supporting him with her arm. “Him, bless him, when the horses started, he turned his head and was shouting: ‘Go faster, go faster, go faster’. ‘Why, baby?’ I asked. He was afraid that the people from the hospital would come after him.”