YOUNGSTER Madalina Zapodeanu was the main topic of conversation during a recent visit to Romania. Kath Richardson, who is caring for the six-year-old in Bolton, went back to Madalina's Romanian orphanage to update the staff on the little girl's progress. Madalina is staying at Kath and David Richardson's Wythburn Avenue home in Bolton following surgery on her disabled arm. Now it is hoped the youngster will be able to stay in England for much-needed physiotherapy. There is also the possibility of Madalina needing surgery on her wrist.

Kath took photographs and video footage out to Romania to show staff and the other children.

In one heart-breaking moment, Kath was approached by a six-year-old girl called Lavinia who begged her about eight times "please take me home".

Kath said: "This was very difficult, especially when I found out that at Christmas she had been placed with a Romanian family to be adopted.

"After three weeks they brought her back saying they couldn't cope. It was then discovered she had been sexually abused.

"She has gone very thin but she still has a beautiful smile."

The orphanage at Dersca was struggling with a very low budget for food. For the evening meal, Kath explained, the children sat down to mashed potato, a bowl of cold tea and a biscuit.

Many of the children were found to be suffering from flu and they wore hats, even indoors.

Kath explained: "The staff at the orphanage believe it is important to wrap the children up, even inside."

Kath and David became involved in the plight of Romanian children and starting the Good News for Romania charity. Through the charity they met Madalina, who came to England last year.

Now the Richardsons are waiting for Madalina's visa to be renewed so she can continue her medical treatment.

Anyone who would like to donate money to help pay for Madalina's stay and her treatment can contact the Richardsons on Bolton 841906.

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