Hiew is a 15 year old boy who was previously living with his mother and occasionally staying with a friend in Khon Kaen when he had to visit his doctor. Hiew’s father died of AIDS and his mother and Hiew are living with HIV/AIDS. About 1 year ago Hiew was diagnosed with TB and treatment was started, but unfortunately Hiew didn’t take his medications regularly and sometimes didn’t take them for days on end. His mother had very little control over him and he would stay with friends in Khon Kaen and so his care was fragmented. Hiew’s family life was difficult his mother worked as a day labourer planting rice in the wet season when she could and she would go to Bangkok to work as a dancer when she can find the work. Hiew’s condition deteriorated and he lost weight and his respiratory function decreased, his skin was terribly infected and scarred and his height and weight stunted.  The Infectious Diseases Team at Srinagarin Hospital tried many strategies for about 1 year to get Hiew to take his medication correctly, but they were unsuccessful, Hiew went onto develop multiresistant TB and his prognosis was grim. In a last ditch attempt to improve Hiew’s chances of survival they referred him to Sarnelli House. It was agreed that Hiew and his mother would come to stay at Sarnelli House for a trial and the staff would ensure that Hiew took his medicine on time and in the correct dose.

Hiew and his mother moved into the isolation room in the clinic in August 2010, and his many TB medications were sorted into times and doses by the staff. Hiew was isolated from the rest of the children for the first month of his treatment, as his TB was infectious.  He gradually grew used to taking the large number of tablets, and with ice cream and yoghurt he was able to swallow the bigger ones with little trouble. His coughing didn’t seem to improve and he was back to see the doctor who reviewed his TB regimen and added an intramuscular injection every day for 6 weeks. Gradually Hiew began to regain his strength and his mother began to want to go home. Hiew’s mother did return home and Hiew moved into Sarnelli House. He has made a good friend of   Ban Dum and the other boys and he loves a joke and having fun. He is always available to help the staff and keeps an eye on the little kids, as the oldest boy at Sarnelli House he helps to keep them in line.

Hiew and his mother

Hiew and Bandum

Hiew has since started on his ARV medications for his HIV/AIDS while at Sarnelli and he is taking them well with all the other kids. His skin remains scarred and damaged from all the infections, and he has some hearing loss from the anti TB treatment, but his weight has increased by 3kg and his energy levels are through the roof. If Hiew continues to improve he will resume his education at Rosario school next year.

November 2010

Kate Introna

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