February 2018 (1)
January 2018 (3)
December 2017 (2)
November 2017 (3)
August 2017 (1)
July 2017 (2)
June 2017 (3)
May 2017 (2)
April 2017 (1)
March 2017 (2)
February 2017 (1)
January 2017 (1)
December 2016 (4)
November 2016 (3)
October 2016 (3)
August 2016 (3)
July 2016 (1)
May 2016 (1)
April 2016 (1)
March 2016 (1)
January 2016 (1)
December 2015 (3)
November 2015 (3)
October 2015 (2)
September 2015 (1)
July 2015 (1)
June 2015 (2)
May 2015 (1)
April 2015 (3)
March 2015 (1)
February 2015 (3)
January 2015 (1)
December 2014 (3)
November 2014 (2)
October 2014 (3)
August 2014 (2)
July 2014 (1)
June 2014 (2)
April 2014 (1)
March 2014 (1)
February 2014 (2)
September 2013 (5)
July 2013 (1)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (2)
April 2013 (1)
March 2013 (1)
February 2013 (3)
December 2012 (1)
November 2012 (1)
June 2012 (3)
May 2012 (3)
April 2012 (1)
March 2012 (1)
February 2012 (2)
December 2011 (1)
November 2011 (1)
October 2011 (1)
September 2011 (2)
August 2011 (2)
June 2011 (1)
May 2011 (1)
April 2011 (1)
March 2011 (2)
January 2011 (1)
October 2010 (2)
September 2010 (1)
July 2010 (1)
June 2010 (1)
April 2010 (1)
March 2010 (1)
February 2010 (1)
January 2010 (2)
December 2009 (1)
November 2009 (1)
October 2009 (1)
September 2009 (1)
August 2009 (1)
July 2009 (1)
May 2009 (1)
April 2009 (1)
March 2009 (1)
February 2009 (2)
January 2009 (1)
October 2008 (1)
September 2008 (1)
August 2008 (1)
July 2008 (1)
June 2008 (2)
May 2008 (1)
April 2008 (3)
March 2008 (4)
February 2008 (5)
January 2008 (2)
December 2007 (1)
October 2007 (1)
June 2007 (1)
May 2007 (3)
April 2007 (5)
March 2007 (2)
October 2006 (2)
September 2006 (2)
Print Article

Current Articles | Search | Admin Options

Life-Changing Intervention - One Family, One Week

In one week, four members of the same family, one by one, were initiated into Anti-Retroviral Therapy for HIV/AIDS.
 
What started at a rural Luke Commission outreach moved into nick-of-time events at the Miracle Campus.
 
Seeking help for her eyes, Gogo (grandmother) Thulile came to an outreach. Room 9 staff talked to her about her “status” – a term in Swaziland, which indicates whether a person is positive (oft’-feared) or negative (desired) for the HIV blood virus.
 
“Knowing a patient’s status is necessary to evaluate how to diagnose and improve their sight,” said TLC nurse Tiffany.
 
TLC staff learned that Gogo Thulile previously had refused the Anti-Retroviral Treatment, because she didn’t “trust” the places or people that delivered the services. Also, she had been informed that she must eat good food, if she took the daily medications.
 
“I stay alone and all my children are unemployed. We have only a little food some days,” she explained.
 
Gogo Thulile first tested for HIV in 2005, but in her mind the results were not conclusive. In 2008 after testing at three different sites, she finally accepted the news no Swazi wants to hear: “You are HIV positive.”
 
Her husband died in September 2015, after a long, painful illness.
 
At that outreach, TLC staff discovered that Gogo Thulile’s CD4 count was low, dangerously low. If her life was to be spared, she needed to start treatment immediately.
 
Three Swazi staff members, individually explained the progression of the disease, pleaded with her to accept help, prayed with her, listened to her fears both real and imagined.
 
The conscientious community leader, called “bucopho,” also encouraged Thulile to go to Miracle Campus, which is an ART distribution center.
 
“I have no money for transport,” was her last objection. Therefore, TLC gave her travel funds. Her homestead is two and one-half hours from the Miracle Campus.
           
Two days later, the 59-year-old grandmother arrived at the Miracle Campus with a wheezing baby on her back. Her 2-year-old granddaughter had a high fever and labored breathing.
 
The baby, Nonhlanhla, had been positive for HIV since birth, admitted Gogo Thulile.
 
“She was so sick,” said Tiffany. “We treated her for pneumonia.”
 
Amid all the medical concerns were the social and spiritual snags.
 
The baby’s parents had to be located before the sick child could be given anti-retroviral medications.
 
Staff member Sipho prepared himself to physically search for the parents, “wherever that might lead me in Swaziland. I will push to find the whole family.”

 

Thankful for TLC’s determination to locate HIV+ family members are (from left) Fikelephi, Grandma Thulile, and baby Nonhlanhla. In one week, this whole family plus the baby’s father started Anti-Retroviral Therapy.

 

The next morning, Sunday, the baby’s father unexpectedly arrived at the Miracle Campus. At this point TLC had not found this dad; he found us.
 
He had no permanent address, he said, but instead moved around the country looking for work. He had never tested for HIV but agreed it was time. Predictably, he tested positive for HIV. His blood was drawn and analyzed; CD4 count was gravely low, too. He needed instant ART intervention.
 
Baby Nonhlanhla’s father said her mother lived in a town not too far away. He offered TLC her contact information.
 
“Only a miracle could have gathered in these four people, one a baby, so they could be helped now, now,” said Sipho.
 
The baby’s mother Fikelephi, it soon became apparent, was extremely ill. In fact, she had lost her job in town because she was too weak to work. Thin, gaunt, shuffling, Fikelephi walked with a limp. Her feet seemed too heavy to lift from one step to the next.
           
(A trace of her former beauty shone through, when she was later coaxed to smile for a photo.)
 
Fikelephi learned she was HIV+ in 2001, 15 years earlier, but had lived in denial. She, too, believed the misconceptions and half-truths about ARTs. But she was willing to start treatment now.
 
The young mother has two other children, which she said have tested negative. Since Fikelephi’s health had deteriorated, Gogo Thulile took over care of her little granddaughter.
 
When suggested that Grandma was the “strong one,” she said, “Strong but not much.”
 
All four are now fighting the disease that still plagues this otherwise peaceful, gentle kingdom. Although the Miracle Campus is now an official ART center, TLC will not replace what is being done elsewhere in Swaziland, but will seek to rescue those who may fall through the cracks or distrust others, for whatever reason.
 
The whole family is willing to come to the Miracle Camps every month for follow-up medical visits and to have their daily ART medications analyzed and altered if necessary.
 
“We have been cared for, especially the baby,” said Gogo Thulile. “She is already much better and smiling again.”
 
by Janet Tuinstra for TLC

 

More to this story: Thulile was called back to the Miracle Campus three weeks later to participate in the 4th surgical session of Comprehensive and Restorative Eyecare Services. With her baby granddaughter still on her back but in much better health, Thulile arrived on campus to get help for her eyesight.
 
After three days and successful eye surgery, she left declaring: “I will never forget…” As is often the case, a patient came to a TLC outreach for one health issue and received intense care on other medical problems, too. Full service. Full circle. Full joy.
 

Three weeks after first meeting, Thulile received eye surgery at the Miracle Campus. With restored vision and her granddaughter on her back, Thulile leaves TLC’s “home” saying, “I won’t forget what you have done for me and my family.”

 

Even more: Nine months later, three of these four patients have improved greatly and are still coming to the Miracle Campus every month for their anti-retroviral medications. The baby’s mother has chosen to go to another ART facility, and baby Nonhlanhla is now living with her mother.


TLC received permission to tell their stories, so that others could be encouraged in their fights against HIV

Text/HTML

You may instruct your broker to electronically transfer shares of stock to one of the following with whom we have made arrangements for discounted transaction fees: 

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
DTC Number: 0164
Account Number: 2745-5124
Account Name: Dayton Foundation Depository Inc.

JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.
DTC Number: 902
FFC to Account Number: P72500
Account Number: PBD#W26531009
Account Name: The Dayton Foundation

National Financial Services/Fidelity Investments
DTC Number: 0226
Account Number: 173-179990
Account Name: Dayton Foundation Depository, Inc. 

Provide written instructions to your broker, specifying the number and type of shares to be transferred to The Dayton Foundation. Send a copy to The Dayton Foundation by mail, fax or e-mail. You also may contact Tracie Boshears directly at (937) 225-9967 to make her aware of the incoming transfer.

Be certain to note that the funds should be deposited to The Luke Commission Medical Missions Fund (#7017) at The Dayton Foundation. 

You will receive a confirmation from the Dayton Foundation showing the value of the gift of stock made based on the price when the stock is sold.  Note that the stock is typically sold immediately when deposited into the Dayton Foundation account.  

Copyright 2018 by The Luke Commission