Monday, August 04, 2008

He came back...

Fortunately the 4 year old boy I blogged about a few days ago came for follow-up.
He arrived with his aunt, the lab results and the chest x-ray.
They came at 3pm as scheduled but I didn't get around to seeing them till about 7pm.
It was a busy day (lots of patients 70+, new lab technician, complex reviews)!
I also wanted to make sure I'd have the time to talk in depth with them.
When I called them in to my office we took a look at the results.
Unfortunately his HIV test came back positive.
Not a surprise, I guess, seeing the condition he was in, but I had been hoping for the best.
If it was negative, I would try hard to 'mend' this child (as they say here).
But with it being positive, I cannot really offer this child what he needs.
All I could do was refer the child to a specialist doctor in pediatric HIV cases.
And hope that he will be fully assessed, put on antiretrovirals if he meets criteria, etc.
I am glad that the aunt came with him and glad we know the underlying cause of his illness.
But it's sad to look into the eyes of a 4 year old child and know that he is infected for life.
And that his wellbeing depends on his family; most of which have abandoned him.
As he was holding onto me I felt terrible that I could not do more.
I know in other countries doctors are faced with the HIV dilemma everyday.
But this is one child I saw today and a child that tugged at my heart.
And it's hard to see this boy suffer as a consequence of his parents' behaviour.
I can only hope that his aunt will look out for him and learn to love him as her own.

1 comment:

cheryl said...

Blessings to you for continuing what probably often seems like a losing battle. Considering how many children you see in a week's time, it's good to still hear that your heart gets tugged. My prayers will be with that little boy and the hands that care for him, even when the hands feel like there's not enough that they can do. I pray he and his family will still know the Father's love.

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~