At the onset his clinical presentation was not good. He was very tired, weak, had painful feet, nausea, difficulty in swallowing and weight loss. Before being admitted to the hospice he was first hospitalized at Jose Pearson which is a specialized, provincial, government-funded TB hospital, situated outside Port Elizabeth.
He was referred from Jose Peason hospital to Camdeboo hospice in April 2014 for palliative care because the treatment had failed to cure him.
Although the admission criteria did not include TB at that stage, the professional nurse at the time, decided to admit him because he was very ill, and although the hospice team did not directly assist him with his TB treatment, he and his family did benefit from the home-based care and support services rendered by the hospice.
All of that changed in September 2014 when he was formally handed over to the newly established DR TB programme of HPCA, facilitated by Camdeboo Hospice. Mr. Hendricks was now able to receive direct management and support with his TB treatment as well.
Caregiver and organisational support
The team from hospice worked very closely with Mr. Hendricks. There was one professional nurse, one enrolled nurse and one community home-based carer assigned to him. He was visited daily by the home- based carer, weekly by the staff nurse and once a month by the professional nurse unless he needed more help regularly.
Nutritional supplements, ointment, aqueous cream, masks, tissues as well as blankets and clothes were all provided and most importantly the patient was reminded when to attend the clinic for sputum tests, blood tests and reviews.
Successes, challenges and lessons learned
Mr. Hendricks stated that he had really benefited from the support and ongoing adherence counseling that he received. He was able to become more involved in decision making regarding his own treatment plan, and along with that he became more positive and optimistic about his treatment outcome. His mind-set changed from being a ‘defaulter’ to somebody who found a reason to continue his treatment.
He found reason to live and fight and to stay positive and strong on a daily basis. As Mr. Hendricks regained his physical and emotional well being, he started to believe that he would be cured in spite of the vast challenges he experienced.
Late in 2015 the good news broke and he was pronounced cured after an intense fight with XDR TB. Mr Hendricks is now healthy and able to assist others in similar situations to his. Watching him grow into someone who can lead by example and use his own experience as an example to others has been the biggest highlight of all.