Tuesday, 1 September 2015

5 dear lives

We have five very sick people admitted at Jeevan Sahara Kendra tonight.

That is right.  5.

Each person struggling for life and hope in different ways.

A man who celebrated his 58th birthday yesterday. Who is basically alone.  One of his daughters visited him.  His immunity is very low and he has tuberculosis and long term diarrhoea.  He wants to eat but feels nauseous.  He was living in a working man's hostel, but was too sick to carry on.  Somehow he got in touch with us.  We are looking after him - we can't send him away.

A woman has a catastrophically low CD4 count of only 10.  She has been taking a sub-optimal dose of medications for many years.  She has not told her husband about her illness - as her children have 'secretly' tested him and found him to be HIV negative.  She does not want to live.  Her grown children are supporting her - but the family is in total chaos.  "I am afraid of the new medicine" this lady told me this evening "I don't want to have bad dreams."  The medication that she is starting on does have some hallucinatory effects.  I told her that it is good medicine.  "We give it to our son every day" I told her.  She started a bit and I explained about how we are in the process of adopting Yohan and how much the meds have helped him. 

An old woman whose name means 'diamond' is paralysed and lying in another bed.  Her HIV positive daughter who has just had a miraculous healing from over a month of bleeding is looking after her.  Having her at our centre is a huge help for this brave woman. 

A young boy of 16 who only weighs 17 kgs is our latest young person badly scarred with HIV.  He has studied in a good school and knows English well.  His widowed mother is suffering from TB.  The boy was taking medicines till a year and a half ago when he recognised someone at the hospital and did not want them to know that he is HIV positive.  He stopped going from then on - and today is skin and bones - barely able to talk.  A sight from the terrible famine shots of Ethiopia a generation ago.   But there is still hope - our team is working hard to help him eat and live life. 

This morning these four had another person with HIV added to their number.  A young 17 year old woman that Kamal, one of our staff, brought all the way from Ahmednagar by bus.  She came is a terrible state - shrieking and thrashing.  It looks like she has a meningitis.  Her parents have both died - and her grand mother and an uncle have come.  They are straight from the village and look helplessly around.

Sheba has been back and forth to and fro from the Jeevan Sahara Kendra to home and back a number of times today.  The most recent time was at 8.30 PM when she went over for her night rounds and to encourage our nurses.

For months we have been praying for nurses.  We got 2 now.

For weeks we have been praying that our centre will be utilised.  We had 10 beautiful empty beds for too long now.  Well - tonight all the beds are being used by very, very sick patients and their attendants. 

We are facing folks who have come in hope - but have every chance of dying.  We want to be a place of healing - and have seen in the past how such terrible situations can be turned around for good.   And have also seen dear friends slip away despite our best efforts.

What will tomorrow bring?

What will happen to the 5 dear lives who are at JSK tonight?  Will we even see our friends again in the morning - or will there be a phone call at 3.30 AM to Sheba and a hearse parked outside by 7.30?  Will their be the trace of a smile on their faces?  One thing is for sure - folks don't come to be admitted at Jeevan Sahara Kendra because they are on a holiday.  And so the weight of figuring out their treatment and jockeying our still fairly thread-bare nursing corps goes straight onto Sheba with help by Dr. Emmanuel.   And of course a huge, huge amount of help and sustaining grace from our Lord Jesus...

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