We are so stoked to let you know that our little Harriet is now getting good treatment for her HIV. You may remember she has had a tumultuous childhood - an alcoholic mum who would leave her at the mercy of those in her neighbourhood at night while she sold herself to prostitution, and neglect such that she could not even walk when we found her.
She is now living with a women who is fully involved in Kids First and is really integrated into her family. She is attending school daily and her sponsor is covering extra medical costs for her physio and rehab to help her walk. Now Josh and his fiancee Mary are supporting her in treating her HIV. There is A LOT of medication she has to take. Fortunately this is all free. What she has needed was a stable environment and responsible adults in her life like Joshua, who will help to make sure she takes her medication on time.
If she continues to take all this daily, the doctors have advised she may live till 40. If most of you were given a possible life expectancy of 40 years, I imagine you would think that is shorter rather than longer than you were hoping, or expecting.
Those of us in NZ (or the US, or many other places!) are blessed to expect a longer life than 40 years. We also take certain standards of living for granted; knowledge about illness such as STIs and how to prevent them, is freely taught in school. We have education, which gives us choices, which opens up opportunities. Let us not forget how fortunate we are, that for many of us our lives have been handed to us on a platter (of sorts) and the least we can do is extend a hand to those we were less fortunate with their birth circumstance.
Here at Kids First we all have something to say, so this blog will be updated by members of our team as our work progresses to keep all of you in the loop!