Archbishop Elpidophoros visits Balikli Greek Hospital after devastating fire

Archbishop Elpidophoros visited Balikli Greek Hospital after last week’s devastating fire and had the opportunity to hear from staff and residents about their experiences during the ordeal.

Staff present when the fire first broke out said they worked quickly to move patients out of their rooms and into nearby buildings; Meanwhile, some residents described their experiences of being rescued by staff, “sometimes at the last moment”, before the roof collapsed on their beds.

No casualties were reported, but a number of residents were displaced; the hospital, which was established in the 18th century and has served Istanbul’s elderly Greek population for years, suffered extensive material damage.

Although the reconstruction is taking time, the Archbishop expressed his gratitude for the quick response of the Greek Orthodox faithful in the United States and thanked the Society of Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos, the Order of St. Andrew (Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate ) and Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Fund for their immediate emergency relief efforts.

“Our elder brothers and sisters in Constantinople deserve a decent place to spend the last years of their lives,” the Archbishop said, adding, “I personally am also very moved because this is the place where my own grand- mother, my uncle Michel, and my late father Vassilios spent the last years of their lives: a very beautiful place now in ashes, but very soon restored to its former and even better beauty.

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