The letter was originally published in the ICPCN publication, Touching Rainbows. It highlights the vital role that hospice and palliative care can play in the holistic care of people affected and infected by HIV and AIDS.
My name is Chumani Saliwa, I was born in 1997 on the 9th of December in the township of Duncan Village, East London. My mother’s name is Thobeka Saliwa and my father’s name is Mabuti Monti, but they are both deceased.
I was involved with St Bernard’s Hospice from the age of 3 years when my mother died of HIV related illness. Hospice showed me and guided me through with my grandmother and I am very grateful. My grandmother started attending the support group to be able to assist me and this has helped her in supporting me and raising me to be who I am today and to prepare for the future.
The Hospice Support group also teaches my granny how to discipline me and they have been there for me throughout all my hardships. Now I know my status because of Hospice and I am proud to go for checkups on my own and to collect treatment because I now know my health status and condition.
I am even more grateful for the Hospice nurses who visit me when I am not well and assist my granny. If it was not for Hospice I would not be who I am, or even know my status. Hospice showed me a vision for the past years and made me realise I can live a healthy life.
I want Hospice to continue supporting me in this journey. Thank you, Hospice.
© Touching Rainbows, ICPCN, 2012
Touching Rainbows can be purchased via the ICPCN website