This is little Bongani aged 3˝ months.
Bongani was brought to us on a Friday evening by his grieving grandmother. She was grieving for her daughter who had died two months earlier from AIDS and this was her baby. The grandmother had not known that her daughter was pregnant as she lived in Johannesburg. When the father of Bongani brought him to KwaZulu/Natal for his grandmother to care for him, he informed her that he could not look after the baby as he was unemployed and was unable to buy the right kind of food for Bongani. Sugar water was all the nourishment the baby was receiving at the time and he was suffering badly from malnutrition.
To make matters worse he told the grandmother that Bongani was also HIV-positive. She was devastated and did not know which way to turn. She took him to the local hospital where it was entered on his card “marasmic baby – immunocompromised. I do not think hospital admission will change the outcome and have advised the grandmother that the baby is terminally ill.” They were then sent home to cope as best as they could. This proved to be very difficult because the grandmother had to work and did not have the time to care for a tiny, sick baby.
Fortunately for her, her employers knew of our organisation. Of course we agreed to look after him. But the poor little boy, at 3˝ months was already in full blown AIDS. All we could do was to show him as much love as possible and keep him comfortable.
This we achieved by managing his spiralling fever, controlling his ever-present cough and easing his pain. Everyone in the Care Centre & Hospice grew to love him during his short time with us. 26 days later God called him to his eternal place in Heaven.
Unbeknown to him, Bongani, as little as he was, changed all our lives and we will never forget him. Our deepest sympathy goes to his grandmother, who cared so much.
[This story is written with the permission of the family.]
This page is part of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard - Newsletter No. 18
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This page was last updated on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 12:49:55