In July 2019, HACT’s team bid a very happy farewell to 8 year-old Michael who was discharged from our 24-bed Respite Unit after just four weeks in our team’s care.
When he first arrived in our Unit, little Michael, who was born HIV positive and yet not currently on any ARVT (antiretroviral treatment), was extremely sick and suffering from numerous AIDS-related illnesses including a very painful case of oral thrush which had contributed to his alarming weight loss. (Michael weighed a mere 15kg the day he was admitted to our Unit.)
Upon admission, Michael was immediately re-initiated onto the correct regimen of life-saving ARVT and treated symptomatically for his thrush and other opportunistic infections. Within just a few days, the excruciating pain that Michael had been experiencing every time he tried to swallow food or liquid had started to subside and with some gentle coaxing and encouragement from our experienced nurses, he was able to start eating again. From then on, Michael proceeded to make a rapid recovery, bouncing back quickly and regaining a third of his body weight in just under 4 weeks.
This very shy and reserved little man definitely touched many hearts during his short stay with us in the Unit, not least that of our Nursing Services Manager, Sister Sphe Gumede (pictured right) who was among the many lining up to get a goodbye hug from him before he returned home.
“It’s always amazing to be able to witness the healing and recovery that each of our patients go through during their time in the Respite Unit, especially when that patient is a child. So many of our nurses and caregivers are mothers to small children themselves and I truly believe the love, care and tenderness that our team gives each and every child who is admitted into our Unit plays a big part in their recoveries. Michael has been so brave over the past few weeks and to see him happy, healthy and smiling again definitely makes our long hours and often difficult work all worth it.”
Sister Sphe Gumede, HACT’s Nursing Services Manager
*Name has been changed to protect our patient’s identity.