NTOKOZO Mthembu* thinks she is ready to go home and resume her normal life. This 19-year-old has been recovering at Philanjalo Care Centre, in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands town of Msinga for the past three weeks.
Four months ago, Mthembu, who suffered from full-blown Aids and TB, had been sent by her distraught family to the local Church of Scotland Hospital as a last resort.
She had been coughing severely and had lost a lot of weight. She could not walk on her own and she suffered from severe diarrhoea.
After spending more than two months in the hospital on a new regimen of TB and antiretroviral drugs, she recovered and was referred to Philanjalo, a hospice just a stone’s throw from the hospital.
Here she was treated by doctors, physiotherapists and nurses and she slowly began to walk. These days she walks on her own and has nothing but good things to tell about the hospital and the hospice.
“I thought that I was going to die,” she said. “Even at home, they had tried everything. I overheard members of my family saying that they should take me to the hospital so that I could die there,” said Mthembu.
* Not her real name.