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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Baby in hospice is virtually raised from the dead.


  On Monday I received a call from someone at the Baylor Pediatric AIDS clinic asking for assistance.  She explained that there was a baby in a hospital who had been very sick and needed help. 

The story was that the child was 22-month old and was taken to the hospital in January 2015 because he was near death.  He was severely malnourished (and had been from birth), he was HIV positive, but had not been on any treatment from birth AND he had Tuberculosis!   The clinic and hospital worked closely together to save this little boys life, but hospice was called and the child was treated in hospice with a hired caregiver sitting beside him day and night. 

Where are his parents you ask? Both parents are severely mentally disabled and the mother spent time in the Psychiatric hospital after the baby was born.  The family suffered from a “lubane”, which means that fire broke out spontaneously at their homestead (no lightening, matches or foul play) and burned everything to the ground. Swazi’s believe that “lubane”, is a result of someone visiting a Traditional Healer and having a curse put on the family that results in spirits burning the homestead and fields. 

I traveled to the homestead with the Social Welfare officer and a representative from the Baylor Clinic and it was simply devastating to see how they were living. I am not sure I have seen much worse during my community visits.  The walls had open sides with clothing trying to keep the cold air out and the only food they had were a few groundnuts (peanuts).


The child remained in hospice for 4-months and every day he got better, until he was well enough to be discharged!  Sadly, the parents were not living together and neither of them were in a position go take the child (who they had cared so badly before in his first 18-months of life).  We were told (and saw for ourselves) that the Gogo had nothing to help care for the child and did not want the child returned to her. 

The hospital and Baylor clinic started working on a plan, but were not able to find a home for the child for 5 weeks.  It was then that we got the call, but they had been warned that we only take children under the age of 12-months. Well, the truth is, we have made two or three exceptions to that rule, and this week we made another exception and welcomed little Thando to our family.

The Doctor who saved Thando's life wanted a photo of the child before he left. So sweet!
Thando turned two years old on April 11th and he still does not walk on his own, but he is a sweet boy and we know that he will develop well at the El Roi baby home.  His TB treatment is finished in June, but his anti-retrovirals will continue for life.

We give thanks to all who help support us financially so that we can say “yes” to children who are in such great need.  We know that El Roi saw Thando and has saved his life for a purpose. We look forward to seeing him grow and develop in the weeks and year to come.

Live from Swaziland … we are driving to Johannesburg to pick up a team from North Point Community Church!

Janine


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