Friday, August 20, 2010
I spent the better part of the day with an amazing woman named Dodo, who showed me what true compassion and selflessness looks like. Dodo is Burmese and lives on the border of Thailand and Burma in a town called Sangkhlaburi. Dodo is a medical worker that has started an HIV/AIDS project in this small border town and has been here since 2003. She takes care of 62 adults and 14 children all with HIV and all are living on the edge of society. We visited a small home where Dodo takes care of 3 boys and a 12 year old girl living with HIV. Dodo was on her way to the hospital with a little boy and I was lucky enough to tag along. The little boy has been sick lately with diarrhea and nausea. Dodo takes all of her patients to this hospital since she has built up a rapore with the Doctors and Nurses and can trust them to take good care of her marginalized loved ones. The main reason for this visit was to get a CD4 count to better assess his HIV status. If he drops below 200 he will be started on anti-retro viral medications that he will have to take for the rest of his life. We won't know the results for a couple of weeks, so we are praying and crossing our fingers.
The poor little guy was set up on the chair to have his arm outstretched and have his blood taken. He was trying to maintain a brave face, but his dirty little chin was quivering and his eyes were starting to tear up. Dodo promptly started to distract our sick little one and I threw my two cents in to help create a diversion away from the needle stick. We were pretty successful and it was short lived.
I am often amazed at the resiliency of the people that I am walking on this journey with. I don't know if I would have as much grace and understanding as they have shown. I don't know what the sick little boy's future holds, but I do know he has someone that cares for him deeply. Thank God for people like Dodo. Please pray for Dodo and all the people that she has dedicated her life to helping.