Who Cares? Phumi does.

Categories: Care.

As director of The Rocking Horse Project, I am incredibly privileged to witness amazing acts of care and kindness on a daily basis.

For instance, while watching Phumi, one of the minders we employ, taking care of a very sick child whose parents have died and whose grandmother is overwhelmed with looking after another five grandchildren, I asked this lady what motivated her. This was her response:

In 2007, I observed a discharge from my breast. I immediately rushed to Mbabane Government Hospital where they did thorough tests. They gave me medication and told me to come for review after two months.

Due to the lack of money, I wasn’t able to go and there was nothing coming out on my breast anymore.

When the discharge started again, there was also a hard lump when touching the breast. I went back to Mbabane Government Hospital where they did many tests and then told me that my breast would have to be removed. The operation was done on the 6th of December 2011.

This experience is what made me decide to take care of sick children because I know what it is like to be in that situation. If I had died, who would have taken care of my three children as I am a single parent and a widow? My own parents died when I was young.

What I thank God for is that I am happy to do this kind of work. I pray that God will help me not to get tired of this and I wish many people could be like me.

Not only does this lady take care of her young patient in his unit at Hope House, she has been at his bedside through his many admissions to hospital which requires sleeping on the floor next to his cot.

Twice a week she takes him for his physiotherapy sessions and also makes sure he regularly has his hair cut.

Watching her singing and playing with this severely incapacitated child is a joy.

Thank you to all the minders out there who give of themselves so freely yet ask for so little. We respect you and salute you as you teach us what unconditional love in paediatric palliative care is about. 

This moving tribute was written by Denise Mortlock, director of The Rocking Horse Project in Mbabane, Swaziland.

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