Refer to my earlier Posting TB in Children:

Joan is currently an inpatient at Kenyatta National Hospital. She is 15 years old and
living with HIV, her parent passed on and is under the care of her relatives.  She recently lost her
eyesight and suffered partial paralysis which has improved leaving her with the
eyesight problem. She is on both anti TB treatment and ARVs. One of her Aunts
who is responsible for taking care of her has previously been treated for TB. 2
weeks after starting anti TB treatment Joan complained of persistent headaches
and a week later she started staggering, her eyesight got worse and was taken
for treatment but when she did not improve she was taken to Kenyatta Hospital
where scan results showed her to be having a brain infection but by then she
had completely gone blind.”

I remember the first time when we went to visit Joan at the hospital; we waited patiently
for Joan’s aunt, Joyce, to arrive at the hospital corridor.  Joyce had told us we could go right in and
wait by Joan’s bedside for her but we thought the better of it. However we went
to have a peek and we saw a frail body covered in the hospital blankets and we
retraced our steps back to the corridor to wait for Joyce.  We called her and gave her a description of
ourselves and my colleague entertained me with his funny stories as we waited
for her.

Finally, she arrived, a short petite woman with a pleasant smile on her face. We could see that she had a good heart and
was of good cheer as she took us to see Joan. She immediately set to prepare food to give her niece who complained of feeling hot. She removed Joan’s extra
sweater telling us that it was very cold in the room and that is why she had to dress her niece as she had. As she fed Joan, we looked around the ward and we
saw several patients who were obviously in pain, one who scared my colleague was moaning and had a nasogastric tube for feeding her. However, there was
blood in the tube and syringe and we really felt for her.

Joan, like all the other patients in the ward had a catheter and the urine bag was
full.  Has been through a lot of pain in her fifteen years, her mother who was her only parent passed away and she was left
with her aunts who are her guardians.

Now two months down the line Joan is homeless as she was turned away by her
relatives because according to them she is a burden. Together with her faithful
aunt, Joyce they are living with a well wisher who has left no stone untouched
in ensuring that Joyce gets the care that she deserves. Her benefactor, who is
a retired Nurse, took Joan to the Kenya School of Special education (KISE)
where she was referred to the Kikuyu eye Hospital. At the Hospital Joan was
again referred to Machakos Technical School for the blind for Braille
rehabilitation after which she will join The Thika School for the Blind.

a helpless joan in hospital

Joan has currently improved and can walk around the house and do basic household and
personal chores. The left eye can only see hand movement while the right eye can only see partially. There has been remarkable improvement from the time
when we first saw her.  Joan unaware of what has befallen her after being chased away from home is full of hope and
infectious laughter. She is looking forward to going back to school

a happy joan