Nomandla’s* CD4 count was 4 in December last year. The CD4 count measures how well the immune system is doing under the attack of HIV. A healthy result is above 500. Nomandla was left practically without an immune system. It took a solid month of visits to clinics and hospitals to get Nomandla on her anti-retrovirals (ARV’s) and to see her body begin healing. She has now been on medication since April, and is improving dramatically. Her 2 daughters, aged 10 and 13, have hope of having their mom around to see them graduate from high school, and perhaps even marry. A couple of weeks ago, our volunteer nurse was surprised to see Nomandla sitting in a local crèche (daycare), volunteering her time to wash the children’s dishes. Still weak, but already out helping where she saw need in her community. It was a beautiful moment of hope fulfilled.
*names changed; some photos not necessarily of article subject