Swazi patient in palliative care gets to write his exams

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GN was referred to The Rocking Horse Project by his doctor as his adherence to his prescribed medication was very poor due to lack of supervision. Sadly his mother has passed away and his father works away from home. This led to treatment failure resulting in GN becoming very sick. Following his referral, GN was placed in one of the Rocking Horse Project’s units at Hope House Hospice and a full time caregiver was employed to care for him. 

Amazing caregiver
This amazing caregiver is a refugee from the DRC who at the time was living at the UNHCR refugee camp, also run by Caritas – the same Roman Catholic charity that established Hope House. When her village was attacked she was separated from her own four children from whom she hopes daily to receive news. Despite her own tragic story, she continues to look after other people’s children with incredible compassion. 

GN wants to write his exams
Despite his weakened state and illness, GN was adamant that he wanted to write his year-end exams. He was too sick to do this at school so his father contacted the head teacher at GN’s school who in turn explained the situation to the Swaziland Exams Council. This resulted in GN being granted permission for a teacher to be an invigilator while he wrote his exams at Hope House. Coincidently, this teacher happened to have a relative who was a patient at Hope House, so she would collect the exam papers kept in the strong room at St Teresa’s Primary School – also part of the Roman Catholic Mission and right next door to Hope House – and then invigilate GN’s exams. Afterwards, she would visit with her relative, who sadly passed away during the exam time.

ICPCN Charter
Item 6 of the International Children’s Palliative Care Network’s Charter states that it is the right of every child or young person with a life limiting or life shortening condition to have access to education. The little kingdom of Swaziland can be proud that this is exactly what was achieved in this instance when all parties worked together and made GN’s wishes become a reality. GN will only know the results of his exams in the new year, but whatever the results, he is certainly a ‘winner’ in our eyes!

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