Tag

HIV

Glimpses

By | Blog, Involve, Personal

It’s like one of those stormy days when you know the sun is out there, but you just can’t see it.  And then the sun peeks through.  And is covered once more.  Everything in view is gloomy and overcast.  Your heart cries out for a breakthrough.

That imagery describes much of this journey we’ve had with Lovekin.  Right now that story is full of storms…

Yesterday we received lab results from one of the most advanced medical facilities in Haiti which confirmed her HIV+ status and provided a plan to deal with her infections, fever and malnutrition.  Lovekin had been experiencing diarrhea so it is difficult to know from her health condition if she was receiving the formula and medicine that we had provided, or if her grandmother had been giving it to others.  Her grandmother did not understand the severity of Lovekin’s challenges, but she does now.  She wept profusely when it was explained to her.  She worries for Lovekin’s older brother and sister who now must be tested also.

Lovekin’s family knew her father’s identity, though he had not been involved.  Our team located him yesterday after returning from the clinic and told him that Lovekin was HIV positive and that he needed to get tested as well.  He was outraged, demanded to be given his baby and yelled at the messengers.  He blamed Lovekin’s mother for the baby’s health.  Apparently he is in poor health also, and another woman to whom he was married had previously died from an unknown condition.  If you read between the lines, you begin to see the potential “tip of the iceberg” of how an epidemic spreads – but that story is for another day.

When does the sun break through in this storm?  Well, a partner of ours has connected us to an orphanage which cares for HIV+ children and after meeting with the director, the facility is open to taking Lovekin.  It’s not a done deal, but there is a glimpse of hope.  Now, we need the father and the grandmother to sign their rights away so that we can help her.  This might seem callous, but the sad reality is that either of them might presume that by keeping Lovekin they will benefit financially and materially from aid and donations.  But her best hope for survival is caregivers who have the training and support to give Lovekin medication on a regular schedule, meet her nutritional needs, can care for her safely and prevent illness and transmission of disease, and every other core need this child has.

There is a long road ahead, and we’re walking it together.  So thankful that we are walking it with you and know that above the gloomy skies is our God in heaven.

For those who wish to understand more about HIV and AIDS, here is a non technical overview of HIV in children and babies.  For those who want to help us provide for Lovekin’s immediate needs, we invite you to donate to the Lovekin Fund, which will remain dedicated to her care, and in the event that the funds exceed her needs or her lifespan, they will be used to support the neediest children in Haiti.

Small Steps

By | Blog, Involve, Personal

We had Lovekin retested this week and got the results today – it was confirmed that she’s HIV positive.  So far, only our team in Haiti knows (and all of you around the world.)  Her village and her grandmother don’t know yet.  Until there is a plan in place, we believe it is likely that they will discard Lovekin if they find out she has HIV.  There is the sad possibility that as we keep helping this little one, her community will see value in her despite her condition.

Many people are praying for her.  Some are offering advice for next steps, recommending referrals, donating to her fundThank you all.  We’re following up as quickly as possible.

Lovekin is still ill and malnourished so we are trying to keep her on a daily care regimen to help restore her most basic health.  But her grandmother is very frail and limited.  We’ve raised enough money to take care of the immediate financial needs so we don’t have that obstacle right now.

This Friday, two of our Haitian team members are taking Lovekin to a special clinic at the Gheskio Center in Port au Prince.  I’m hoping that we can walk out with medication, a treatment plan and some tracks to run on, but sometimes that’s a lot to hope for in a single day in Haiti.

Keep those prayers coming…

Heartache

By | Blog, Involve, Personal

Lovekin was born in August 2015. Her mother died a few weeks afterward due to complications from childbirth, and most likely from AIDS.  Her father was not involved in her life and her grandmother is struggling to care for her and cannot afford to feed her.  When we met her she was malnourished and had a fever and a variety of minor medical ailments.  To avert her grandmother deserting her, the Chanje Movement engaged in her life and took care of her immediate needs, including baby formula and medication.

We were in the intake process for Lovekin at Chanje Lakay in hopes of saving her life when we discovered she is HIV positive.  Our shelter is not equipped to deal with the care for her, so we are actively trying to find her a home where she will have the best care.  She is a delicate bundle of joy despite the circumstances of her early life. She has a sweet, contemplative demeanor and loves to be held!

We have created a designated fund for Lovekin to provide for her needs in the weeks, months and (prayerfully) years to come.  In the event that the generosity of donors outlasts her life, the remaining funds will be used to care for other Haitian babies and children who are HIV positive.

We will be posting actively as her story unfolds…