Twelve years ago, as a woman reached the last few weeks of her pregnancy with her first (and only) child, her husband lay dying in a hospital in another state. He eventually passed away and the woman was told he died of ‘pneumonia’.
She was widowed and she grieved.
The time came for her to deliver her first born. She delivered a baby born naturally. Her joy was short lived because she was then informed that she has HIV+. Subsequently the baby was diagnosed with HIV as well.
She went to stay with her mother, took on a few jobs, and single handedly raised her son. She went for her follow-up religiously. Her son was also followed-up by a Pediatrician.
The son grew up, strong and ‘healthy’, never forgetting to take his medications. The time came for him to be schooled and his guardian angel must be watching over him for he was enrolled in a school where the headmaster knew about his condition and was sympathetic. The boy studied along with all his other HIV- class mates. The only condition was that he refrain from participating in any sports activity, a limitation which the boy did not like, for he yearned to run and play all the games that his school mates play.
Still, he obeyed the rule and only plays at home, by himself.
“He is a good boy”, his mother told me when I saw her in my clinic a while ago.
“He is good in his studies and is healthy”, she added.
“I’m okay”, she replied when enquired about her well being.
The first of many tear drops welled in her eyes as she related her story to me.
I was silent as I listened to the tragic story being told.
Tear drops became little rivulets running down her cheeks.
“You know, doctor, there were many times I wanted to end it all. I thought of taking my own life. You know what held me back? You know what gives me the will to live?”
“It’s my son. I have to live and survive for him.”
“Because he has no one else…”
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