Andrei Pungovschi – Leprosy
“Officially, leprosy has been long eradicated in Romania. Nevertheless, Tichilesti Hospital, one of the last few leper colonies in Europe, still hosts about twenty leper patients.
These people are not contagious and most of them have no marks on their bodies. They are no longer confined, but they choose to live here, because Tichilesti is much more than a hospital. It is a community, a way of life.
Tichilesti, Romania, 2008″
Mihai Dinescu, 58 years old, sits in his room, surrounded by memories from his mother Maria, also a leper, pictured in the frame in the upper right corner of the wall behind him. Mihai has been here for 14 years. His mother had spent most of her life in Tichilesti, until she passed away in 2004.
Victoria Chiselev, 84 years old, takes a break from picking grass to feed her chickens. Victoria was first committed to Tichilesti hospital when she was 16. It was here that she met her husband Lazar, with whom she lived 30 years outside the hospital, in a village nearby, after the first treatment. They came back to Tichilesti when the disease recurred.