Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Mala's story

In the middle of a series of musings on Mussoorie - a reminder of why we are in Thane in the first place.

We got to now Mala (not her real name of course) a few years ago. She and her husband were HIV positive. When we met her she was very sick. Her immunity was quite low with her CD4 cell level dipping down in the 20s. Her husband drowned his sorrows in drink. Things were pathetic.

At one camp that we helped facilitate for their children in Igatpuri - Mala's husband showed up and took the children away half-way through. They fought and were estranged for some time with him taking the children to his village.

After some time they reconciled to a certain extent, but decided to leave Thane and go to another city in Maharashtra - closer to their ancestral home.

We lost touch with the family. Almost.

About a year ago Mala showed up with a terrible abcess in her left hip. It was inflamed and needed surgery. She went back to her town, and her husband managed to get a surgeon to agree for surgery. Mala was not asked about her HIV status - and did not tell.

When Mala was posted for surgery and when the anesthesia started - she was asked if she was taking any medications. In the fog of that time she replied that she was taking Anti-retrovirals - the medication that keeps the HIV levels low. The surgeon was outraged. He did go ahead with the surgery and drained her wound, but spoke many bitter words and immediately discharged her with a pipe to drain out any further fluid.

The surgery put the family back by the sum of Rs. 10,000/-.

After almost a year the wound had finally healed.

Mala's husband then died.

Barely a month later she discovered that she had an abcess on the other hip.

Newly widowed, confused, impoverished. Mala despaired for life. She did not know what to do.

Mala came back to Thane where her mother lives. She came to the Jeevan Sahara Kendra last week while we were in Mussoorie. She showed her new abcess. It was huge. Surgery to drain it was the only hope.

Mala prayed. She said to Jesus that 'I have no other hope - please help me.'

On Sunday something happened.

The whole abcess broke open and all the months of pus inside drained out. Everything.

Mala came to the clinic today to show Sheba. Sheba had heard she was coming and dreaded meeting her - remembering what she had seen the last time.

But this time was different.

The whole area was clean. It was as if a master surgeon had did his work. A tiny bit of pus was left which was easily cleaned and dressed. The wound was clear and clean. The Master Surgeon had indeed done His work.

Mala was so grateful for what has happened.

This is not the solution to all her problems. She still has many deep and grave challenges ahead. But this brave woman has experienced an amazing breakthrough in her time of deep need.

It is such a great honour to work among our friends with HIV.

No comments:

Post a Comment