Almost a month ago a nurse asked me to go and visit a patient who had just been diagnosed with HIV. She didn’t tell me anything about her. When I got there the patient had lots of problems. Her CD4, which measures her immune system, was only 15 and she had horrible smelly wounds in her vagina. She was in incredible pain and couldn’t walk at all.
The nurses ask me to take her to another hospital for a gynaecological check-up. I took her there and after the examination the doctor said that she has cancer. When I saw the wound I felt physically sick. The doctor just did a dressing and sent her back to the other hospital. I went back with her and told them that the patient has cancer.
She was given medication and injections. This was very expensive but we were able to help pay for it out of our emergency fund. After the injections the wound started slowly reducing.
This lady had six children; four of them were with her (the older two are already married). The youngest two also tested HIV positive, as did her husband who was also sick and admitted to hospital. We were able to look after the children at the AIDSLink Care Centre during this time, as there was no one else to care for them.
I felt that we had to save this mother. God granted us success and the lady got better, we had literally saved her life. Her children were also able to start treatment and the family eventually returned to their village.
However, I had been nursing her day and night for over a month, and because of the stress and strain my CD4 count has gone down by 300. But, it was a critical case and we had to intervene on behalf of this poor lady.
As reported by an AIDSLink Nepal staff member, paraphrased because of translation.
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