Naomi made a living by hawking in Gauteng until September 2013 when she got ill and, thinking rest would help, came home and delayed seeking medical attention. By March 2014, PTB was diagnosed and her 16year old daughter Vuyo* was also put onto treatment.
With the first assessment we found Naomi* bedridden, weighing 38kg, with a poor appetite but cheerful. After checking the tablets, the hospice found out that she was had been prescribed anti-retroviral tablets. Little was said about the HIV, although her daughter Vuyo knew about it and had a good understanding of the condition. Naomi was reassured that having PTB would not automatically give her HIV. This was a good grounding and over time Naomi* became more open and in general more accepting.
Basic nursing care was given on a regular basis which was such a pleasure to Naomi, who was always happy and very grateful for it. The hospice helped where they could with donated food but her weight continued to be a concern. A donation of ‘comfort dolls’ was made to Lady Bird Hospice. Naomi loved the dolls and had a lot to say about them, even giving them names and so forth.
By June 2014 Naomi was admitted to hospital with severe stomach cramps. After three and a half weeks Naomi was discharged to her home in a stable yet frail state. Support continued and slowly she gained strength with her daughter close by. “I am going to Vuyo’s Graduation in March 2015”.
By the 7th of August Naomi’s weight had increased to 49kgs, and the end of September marked her being on TB treatment for 6 months successfully.
In the space of one year after being “down and out” at Christmas time 2013, Naomi improved incredibly well, and at the same time proved to everyone what the human mind and body can do when there is a positive attitude. The best part of the story is definitely the fact that Naomi improved so much so that she was indeed able to attend her daughter’s graduation.