Monday, April 30, 2007

To run and play – Introducing Khulekane (1 of 10)

Khulekane and his gogo.

[This is the first in a series of ten patient intros. No particular order or format. Just a few facts about a few of the children that come to our clinic for care.]

Khulekane (pictured above) was one of my patients today.

He was first seen here Feb 29th, 2007 when he tested positive after his gogo (i.e. grandmother) thought that he appeared sickly.

He is 10 years old and lives in Mnyokane, a small village north of here, about an hour and a half or so by public transport.

Khulekane likes to play football (the kind played with the feet, of course).

His favorite food is “rice and meat.”

He comes across as a shy boy, but he isn’t one. Whatever pretense of timidity dissolved the instant that I gave him a printed copy of the above photo.

Now we are buddies.

Khulekane is not on ARVs yet, but will need them soon. His last CD4 was 392. We are checking his CD4 next month to see if it has fallen any lower.

From a medical standpoint, Khulekane is doing quite well. He was almost certainly infected with HIV at birth, but despite a full decade of HIV infection and its poisonous effects on the immune system, he still has enough CD4 cells to ward off most infections and kick a soccer ball around with his peers.

His swollen parotid glands, anemia, and minimal recent weight gain offer hints that his body will not keep the virus at bay forever.

I asked Khulekane what he wants to be when he grows up, and he said he wants to be a nurse.

His gogo quickly confirmed this by saying, “Yes, he does.” She then paused and smiled, adding, “But for now he likes to run and play.”



At 10:29 PM, Blogger D. said...

Amazing blog.

At 1:15 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

Thanks. -Ryan


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