Today 4 children left us, to live with their new foster families, who were willing to give those 4 children a home and a future!!!! This is a real happy day, all 4 of those children had no family, they came into Amecet with sad stories, but now there is Hope, there is joy and there is a future for each of them! The Probation Officer, Mr. Oluka Amos (at the left on this picture) came to give them officially to their new parents. There was a process before, all the forms are filled, interviews are done, house inspected and today was the official handover.
On Tuesday baby Charles was brought into Amecet. A small baby, who was too weak to drink by him self. We had to feed him by NG tube. The next day we got all the medical papers and we saw that he was a premature baby, who was born 3 weeks too early. The mother had died because of severe bleeding, the health centre where Charles was born, referred them to he hospital, but also there they could not help. The baby had already traveled a lot, before reaching Amecet. At first we thought he was doing well, he only vomited every time after feeding, so we reduced the amount of milk we gave and fed him more frequently, but on Friday morning he had problems breathing. We went to the doctor and he was started on several IV medicines and we also put him on our oxygen machine. It looked he was doing better, but this morning at around 6.45 am, he suddenly died. It was a shock, there was not much struggle, he just stopped, while still on the oxygen. We had to call the family and get a small coffin in town.
A lot is going on in Amecet. This is baby Christine, she was born in the hospital, where her mother passed away, after a Cesarean. The family brought Christine 18 hours later, to Amecet. By that time Christine was dehydrated and had fever. She was weak and miserable. We took her to the doctor and she was put on IV fluids and IV medication. We had to feed her by NG tube, because she was too weak to drink from the bottle. We are now one week further and she is doing better, the fever is gone, the skin is better, not so dry, we still feed her via the NG tube, because she can drink only 10 or 15 ml.by herself. But I feel, that we won this battle (don't know how many battles are around the corner...).
In the last blog I wrote about the 2 Raphael's, this blog goes about one of them, the small Raphael, who is still with us in Amecet. I wrote that we went to the hospital to let the doctor take a biopsy from one of his glands and we have been waiting for the result. The result I got back yesterday..... and it was very sad news, Raphael has Cancer and it is a very advanced stage.... We have been afraid of this, when he came in Amecet on November 20,2018, we took him even the same day to the doctor and the day after that, to the HIV clinic, where he was started on ARV's. There have been x-rays, scan's, blood tests and they "hoped" that it would be TB, Raphael was started on anti TB drugs, but now it came back to us, black on white, that it is Cancer.... According to the doctor it is advanced and too far gone to start treatment.. Raphael has no parents, his father was murdered and his mother died of AIDS, she never went for treatment or ARV's and never took Raphael for treatment either. At the burial of the mother, there was a clan meeting and the clan decided that Raphael would be given to his auntie. But they saw how sick he was, so they first brought him to Amecet. The auntie came to visit Raphael twice, she is a kind lady, but we don't know how she shall react when she hears how sick Raphael really is. I am so sad about him, he is starting to adjust, smile and talk. he plays a bit, but he is too weak to really play. Someone gave him this cap, which you see on the picture, he loves that cap, and even put it up when he sits on the potty!! It stays in his bed during the night!! We have to talk with the auntie, to hear what she thinks of this, but Raphael might stay a bit longer with us and I pray we can love and care for him, give him a banana party every week (he loves bananas) and cuddle with him and pray over him when he is sick and help him when needed. Pls. join us in prayer for this precious boy!!
This is the first Raphael (12 years old), he was brought to Amecet in August 2018. He was very weak, sick and malnourished. He is HIV+ and we took him the same day to the doctor to do tests and to see how bad it was. His Viral load (load of the HIV virus in the blood) was over 3,000,000 (normally it should be undetected). He was really very sick. He got the right medicines and also medicines for several infections. At first we thought that it was going well, until we started to see strange behavior. We took him to the Psychiatric ward and the doctor there diagnosed: HIV related psychosis!! He got more medicines and was now spaced out, so the medicines were changed. I was hesitated about keeping him in Amecet, with all the little baby's, was it safe??? We decided that we would give him a chance, but that we, as staff, always needed to watch him, where he was and what he was doing.... Now, looking back, I am so happy that we made that decision, it was tough in the beginning, but he picked up, got more peaceful, happy, started to eat himself, (we even had to give him a NG tube, because he refused to eat!) Started to play a bit, we had to go back to the doctor several times and the medicines for the psychosis were getting less and less... He wanted to go to school, and we started with half days, we informed the teacher and everything went well!! He was part of the Amun week en he went back home to his father and sister. In February he will go to a boarding school and he is doing so well. I was in the hospital this week and the nurses called me back, they told me that the last Viral load of Raphael came back and it was only 160,000!!! This is amazing!!!
Last night, I got a phone call from the Police, they were standing in front of the Amecet gate, but no one opened the gate for them. I called Amecet and they went to open the gate, the Police brought, together with a nurse from Soroti Hospital, a small 5 day old baby for safe keeping. The baby was born on the first on January in Soroti Hospital by a Cesarean operation. Someone had stolen the baby from the bed. The mother was discharged and went home, while the Police tried to trace for the baby. And they succeeded!!! So last night they got the baby and arrested the woman who had taken the child. They brought the baby to Amecet for care and safety. This morning a big group of people (16) came into Amecet, it was the Police and the father and mother of the baby, together with grandfathers, clan leaders of both sides (fathers and mothers side). It was such a joy to lay the little boy into the arms of the mother!! She was so happy, she had still a lot of pain from the operation, but she was smiling and shining all over when she saw her little son. After some talking the group left, with the little baby and they were very happy and thankful!!
James was born on Friday, December 28 at home, in a tiny hut, deep in the village. Someone helped his mother, but after he was born, things went terrible wrong... ..his mother started to bleed, the family looked for a way to get her (and James) to the nearby Health centre, but his mother passed away on the way to the centre..... The family turned back home and the next morning the family decided to bring James to Amecet, they had heard that they looked after baby's. They organized a motorbike and an uncle and an auntie started the 2,5 hour journey on the motorbike, with the tiny baby. (this was Saturday). It was my free day, so I got a phone call, that a new baby had arrived. I told them to take the baby in Amecet and just take all the details. One hour later, Dominique called, the baby was very small and very cold. The doctor of the neighbour's clinic had been called to see him, but we had to first try to warm him up, the temperature was even lower than the thermometer could read. The weight of the baby was 1.140 kg., this baby was very premature, even the family had told us that he was maybe 1 month early...
WE WISH YOU ALL A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS, ENJOYING BEING WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND REMEMBERING THE GIFT OF LIFE, THE SON OF GOD, BORN TO GIVE US LIFE!!! WE PRAY FOR A GOOD LIFE IN 2019!!!
Friday was the official ending of the Amun week. In the morning we had a teaching about the good of education, with Elias and Andrew. Then the groups went to practice a drama about one of the lessons they have had. And after one hour they presented the drama's in the big group. It was fun to see the creativity of the different age groups about HIV/AIDS, honesty and family life. Of course we made our group picture and we had a nice meal with a soda. We also had the official ending in a big circle and giving our struggles to God, in believe that He will help us with the,m, because: everything is possible when I believe!!!!
Yesterday we talked a lot about HIV/AIDS. We did the first session in a quiz form, so that they were teaching each other. They really know a lot about HIV/AIDS. And it was good to see them explaining to one another. We talked about the ARV medicines, all the children are on ARV's, they know where they talk about... Then we had a lesson about acceptance, that was a tough one. It is hard to accept your status, it is a process and we talked about the phases of that process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and then the last one acceptance. The last item was: disclosure of your status to others, that was difficult, the children are afraid to be rejected. Many of them have been rejected so much in their life.. We gave some steps they could take. In the afternoon we had our four peer groups and they all talked a lot about the teaching from that morning. They were very open and shared their own experiences. Some were very painful.
Today we started with singing clapping and dancing, we only had half of the tent, because the other half had collapsed. Yesterday a big rainfall came down, just after our games and the tent fell. They came with new poles and while we were singing the tent was set up again. Julius is leading the singing, together with Sharon and Samuel.
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