Published on December 22nd, 2019 | by Ramona Sarac0
Doctor Livia Ognean, guardian angel of the babies of several hundred grams
There are among us people who put their life in public service, who dedicate their time, attention, hard work and big heart to helping others, who put others and public good way higher than they put themselves. Angels among us, people born to help, to heal and to make miracles for those around, and Livia Ognean, doctor at Sibiu Emergency Hospital, is certainly one of them. Chief of Clinical Department of Neonatology, Livia’s huge heart beats everyday for the youngest patients, some of them weighing only several hundred grams. She had saved thousands of lives in 25 years of career, and she is also the president of an association through which the department she is running received modern medical equipment, reagents for analysis, consumables and so many more necessary things. Livia is running the humanitarian marathon every year to collect donations, mobilizes her friends to support her for the association’s projects, spends more time in hospital than at home without feeling she is making any sacrifice, just being happy that she can do good for others.
Livia’s love story with medicine starts in highschool, when she had chosen the profession that turned to be the real vocation of her life. She admits that during the first two years of faculty could not find disciplines that could attract her too much, but things changed completely during the IV-th year, when she started studying in Paediatrics. „When I started studying Paediatrics I had the revelation of what I was looking for in faculty, from that point on I knew what I wanted to do”, she says.
After graduation, she was a resident in Neonatology in Bucharest, and she still feels that, somehow, the profession had chosen her. „I had chosen the residency in Neonatology without even being a single time in a Neonatology department, but the moment I entered there I knew that was what I wanted to do, as if someone else would’ve guided your steps”, she remembers, smiling.
She had done the internship in Bucharest then transferred to Sibiu, where she had actually done her entire residency and had built her career in neonatology. In 1994, when she got there, everything looked completely different as it is nowadays. „To say intensive neonatal therapy about what it was at that point it’s a little bit too much, we only had incubators, we had no pulseoximeters, no monitors, it was practically a more careful care because you can’t say it had been done intensive therapy back then”, Livia remembers.
Baby Care, because of love for children
Of course things changed in time, today the whole department is highly modern, you can’t actually believe that you are in a public hospital. And for what Intensive Neonatal Therapy is today, a huge credit goes to Baby Care, an Association whose president Livia Ognean is and who was founded to support the department and to increase the chances to save lives of the youngest patients.
Livia started the project with her wonderful, dedicated colleagues, when she was the chief of Intensive Neonatal Therapy. It was 2006, and Baby Care is a model of how people with huge hearts, all volunteers, can do miracles in a public hospital. „It is the Association of the doctors and medical assistants from our department, then mothers and other doctors who wanted to support us joined”, Livia explains. The first idea was to donate the percent from the income tax allowed by the Romanian legislation, 2%, to help the department with necessary things.Then things developed, more and more donors came to support, they started initiating different projects, also running at the humanitarian marathon that takes place every year in Sibiu. Livia herself is running the humanitarian marathon every year to collect donations, mobilizes her friends to support her for the association’s projects.
Also, in the department, no one gets „attentions” from patients, but those who want to thank in any way for the fact that their little babies had a chance to live can donate to the Association – and so the chances for other babies to win difficult battles with life increase every day, with every new medical equipment bought from donations. Because that’s where money go – all donations are used for the department, to buy modern medical equipment, reagents for analysis, consumables and so many more necessarry things. Ultrasounds, incubators, pulseoximeters, cots with hot water mattress, neonatal tensiometers, cerebral oximetry monitors, modern neonatal fans, phototherapy lamps, transcutaneous bilirubinometers, oximeters, air-oxygen blenders are just some examples of things bought from donations.
Livia is grateful every day for what she is doing. For her wonderful team – she speaks all the time about her colleagues, who are not colleagues but a real family. Saving lives is a miracle, saving babies of several hundred grams, a huge one. She had never seen her department as a workplace, it’s a second home where she stays as much as necessary, comes from home when necessary, without feeling that she is making any sacrifice – just because of love for children who are all, in one way or another, „her children”.
„I feel home, I don’t get home too often, anyway. I stay in the hospital as much as is necessary and I come from home whenever it’s necessary. I can count on one hand’s fingers the days from one month when I leave home the work program officially ends. I’m not counting anything, because I feel like home and I can’t leave without finishing all I have to do”, she says.
She has no children, but she says smiling, her voice trembling with emotion, that she has a family like no other, that includes all the babies hospitalized in her department. She had, in so many years, highly difficult cases, and her biggest joy is the fact that, today, she keeps in touch with young people who, many years ago, were babies of several hundred grams, in Intensive Neonatal Therapy. Every year, on Children’s Day, 1-st of June, there’s a very emotional meeting with doctors and assistants with their families, children who had been in Intensive Neonatal Therapy and their parents.
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