Some time ago day a baby was placed with us, newborn, and very ill. He had full-blown AIDS, and was fighting for his life. Doctors at the hospital confirmed the many signs such as enlarged liver and spleen, and swollen glands. We recognised the lack of thriving, the problem feeding, the whining and discomfort, the diarrhoea.
All the signs that we saw are typical childhood ailments, but in HIV sufferers, these conditions simply continue, or appear to sometimes improve, only to soon return again. So it was with Temba.
All we could do, the medical staff said, was "take him home and make him comfortable".
What a difficult thing to do, we didn't want to just make him comfortable; we wanted him to be well and naturally comfortable. We nursed him day and night, and often, when he was particularly distressed, Phillip and Pat would sleep on the lounge carpet with him on a little mattress between them, so that they could guard him throughout the night. When exhaustion overcame them, they took turns 2-hourly to sleep, the other keeping awake to watch his every movement. They prayed hard for him, loved him and held him. They took him to a friend's church one day, on invitation to them and all their babies, and there the congregation prayed for all their children, and laid hands on Temba as they prayed. That night Temba had his first peaceful sleep (at age 4 months). He started to feed better, and gradually the whining quietened to silence. His blood test had been done at the hospital and they sadly awaited the result. But two weeks after this prayer event, they were informed that his result had come back HIV negative!! They could not believe this miracle, and the hospital asked them to bring him in, as they too could not accept this. Three doctors examined him, and not one swelling was found, not one lump, not one sign of AIDS!
Temba has been adopted into a loving family, and is thriving.
We can never thank God enough for this miracle, and for the privilege of having cared for this precious child of His, and for the love we received in return from this special little angel.
All tied up...
A little boy who was left tied up and locked in a house/shack for many days. This 18-month-old baby was starving, had malnutrition diseases and TB, and weighed only 3 kgs. He very nearly didn't make it.
After 2 months in hospital having also being declared a Foetal Alcohol Syndrome baby, he was sent to us.
He could only just sit by himself, did not respond to anything at all, and was so weak and lethargic. We were also warned that he would probably be mentally and physically retarded.
Well, four months later this 3kg boy weighed 8kgs, he could crawl, he smiled, his hair started growing, and three years later, he walks, runs, talks, and is such a happy and bright little button. He is a little bit slower than his peers, but has nothing at all wrong mentally. He will always be small due to his mother's alcohol abuse during her pregnancy, but is prospering. Another miracle...
A 5-month old baby came to us one day, having been removed from an alcoholic mother who lived on the streets of Cape Town. This child had been subjected to the most violent physical abuse imaginable, and was consistently fed alcohol by the mother. The baby was clearly severely addicted to the alcohol at the time she was found. For 3 or 4 days she cried constantly, struggling with what must have been a terrible hangover.
We just held her and loved her, and then loved her some more. Within days, she was looking so much better, her swelling and eyes having cleared, and her own little personality coming through- such a lovely little girl. What a change for her to sleep through the night after two weeks! What a change for us to sleep through the night again also!
But to see how she thrived, made all the sleepless nights worthwhile.