18 Jun Can You Die Because You Missed a Meal?
Grace is an HIV-positive widow, a single mother to 5 children, from two fathers both of them deceased. Her last husband infected her with HIV and subsequently died from AIDS. Unbeknownst to Grace, she had transmitted the virus to her unborn baby. Her little girl is living with HIV.
After the burial of her last husband, Grace was ostracized by the village people. They see her as a black widow, with a curse on her head and treat her kids as bad omens. People are afraid that Grace’s “family curse” might spread to their homes.
Apart from sadness from all the loss in her life, she is the sole breadwinner for her 5 children with a frail damaged by opportunistic diseases that come with HIV. Fortunately, Grace and her two-year-old daughter Juliet have started on Anti-Retroviral Medicines to combat the disease. They walk about two miles to the nearest health center to pick up their medicines about once a month.
Grace has strict instructions from the health worker not to take her medicine on an empty stomach, but she is struggling to stick to this rule. You see, her family can go two days without a proper meal. On such days beyond her better judgment and fear of dying and leaving her children alone, she has taken her medicine with terrible repercussions.
You can make sure this never happens again by donating just $35 per month to the Caregivers Fund so Grace and her children will have a daily meal.
Grace narrates what happened one fateful day,
“As soon as the tablets hit my stomach, my body went into total shock. I broke out in a sweat. Suddenly I felt sharp pains in my stomach, it’s like I had razor blades and burning coals turning around. I screamed for Marvin my 12-year-old son. I guess he didn’t hear me, he had been digging in the garden. I attempted to stand up but fell right back down, my head was spinning. Juliet my 2-year-old was huddled in the corner, she looked terrified. I had just given her ARV tablets too. As I fought for breath, I caught a glimpse of my neighbor walk past quickly. I must have passed out because I woke up to find Marvin pouring cold water on my face and Juliet waving my blouse so hard for fresh air. My children huddled around me once I came through, they were sobbing. Perhaps they thought the worst had happened. I pray never to see the fear I saw in my children’s eyes that day.”
We hear this story, again and again, it’s a common problem that can easily be solved just by a simple hot meal a day. HIV positive mothers can live as long as 20 to 30 years after contracting the virus with consistent ARV medicines and good nutrition. It’s important for us to help this mother stay alive for as long as possible. She is her children’s best caregiver. It’s not only a cost effective way of looking after orphans but it’s also good for their psychosocial benefit.
Please consider donating towards CNFOUG Caregivers Fund.
For just $35 a month You can provide a hot meal for Grace and women like her living with HIV and struggling to raise their children. No mother should die and leave her children as orphans, just for lack of a meal.