Monday, June 11, 2007

Blown away – Two patient encounters, in brief

I saw Rebecca for follow up today (See Introduction 10 of 10 below).

She has lost another 1.5 kg and is even further off the chart.

My grandmother used to tell me that if I did not eat well, I might “dry up and blow away.”

Well, I have never seen a child so dried up.

Within her skin, there are merely bones and some semblance of a child trying to hold on.

Because her mom has to carry her wherever they go, I dropped her off at the hospital during my lunch break.


I just finished seeing my last patient. Her name is Lindiwe, and today was her first visit to the Baylor Clinic.

She and her mother are waiting outside for me. You see, Lindiwe has several things in common with Rebecca.

They are the same age.

They are both HIV+.

Like Rebecca, Lindiwe can barely walk.

Like Rebecca, she weighs just over 13kg.

They will both be spending several weeks in the hospital…if they can afford it.

If they can survive it.

I will let you know if they do.



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