South Africa: Lettie's Story (June 2008)


When Lettie first arrived, on a stretcher, at the PEPFAR-supported Ndlovu Medical Centre, she was thin and weak and could only lie on her stomach due to severe bed sores. Every other position hurt too much.

Dr. Schrooders took one look at her skeletal form and decided to test her for HIV. When she discovered her positive status, Lettie had no energy to cope with the news. Her doctor confirmed that she was eligible for antiretroviral treatment immediately. Because she could not walk, the doctors decided to admit her to the clinic.

Ndlovu became Lettie's new home. She received good food and loving care and was supported with her treatment. She did not experience any side effects from the antiretroviral drugs, but it took a year before she could get out of bed and into a wheelchair.

After two years at Ndlovu, Lettie feels she has become part of a family. She says the clinic staff have given her hope that has kept her going. She adds that they are committed to her care and optimistic about her future.


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