Life is even harder when your 5 and live in Haiti but what makes life even harder then that is being 5, living in Haiti, weighing 18 pounds and having TB.
I know a few posts ago I talked about the delicacy that is required to tell another persons story. I want to tell her story from my perspective. Yes, this is about one little girl, but as with most of these types of stories it's a story about many little girls all over the world.
I met "little C" when I arrived to work with Ti Kay this past summer. Ti Kay is run by Dr. Megan Coffee and for those of you who do not know, Ti Kay treats TB and HIV patients in Port Au Prince Haiti.
When I first met little C, she weighed 18 pounds and this was her second hospitalization for TB.
5 year old children are:
a. not supposed to weigh 18 pounds.
b. not supposed to be confined to living in a hospital for months on end, separated from family (aside from a 13 year old sister who's sole job is to care for her)
c. not supposed crumble under their own body weight because their disease and lack of intake (as a result of treatment/disease induced nausea and vomiting) has made them too weak.
d. are not supposed to know such sadness that a smile is an exception not the rule.
5 year old children are supposed to run and play and laugh with the squeal only 5 year olds can do...
Over the 6 weeks I was at Ti Kay little C didn't appear to get much better. She would just stare at the caregivers with an empty look. She smiled, sometimes, usually at Jeremy cause he just seemed to have a way with her.
She threw up her medication almost every morning, her weight seemed to either stay the same or decrease in spite of all the extra chicken or hot dogs we bought her..
to hold her little fragile, emaciated body everyday, trying to coax smiles and words out of her (her vocabulary was severely lacking) caused me to try to find that place within me, (within all of us I am sure) that lets you love and care for people but that doesn't destroy you at your core...
After I left Haiti, little C did a big turn around.
She began to gain weight, she began to talk, she began to smile, to play... she became a 5 year old girl.
And soon she was well enough to go home....
The fact that this was her 2nd hospitalization was not lost on Megan and a few weeks ago she sent me an email asking me to look for funding to send little C and her sister (her caregiver while in hospital) to school.
I have told Megan that I will fund school for the girls for this coming year. If you would like to help out let me know!