• March 6, 2017

My eyes opened to this suffering kid’s reality

Natalia and some of her little friends in Bs As

by Natalia C. on mis­sion in Buenos Aires

Every Thursday we visit kids with HIV and women with Tuberculosis in a hos­pital close to our home. I would like to tell you about a little boy that I met in this hos­pital a few weeks ago. For secu­rity pur­poses, I’ll change his name and call him Anthony. Anthony is 7 years old and has HIV. For the last three weeks he has been in the hos­pital due to health com­pli­ca­tions. His mom also has HIV and is often too sick to care for him. Because of this, he has a care taker come and spend time with him every day. On top of his HIV, Anthony is also deaf. When I spoke with his care taker about these things, I was imme­di­ately filled with sorrow and pity. This little boy is only 7 years old and has expe­ri­enced so much suf­fering. He cannot express him­self fully because of his ail­ment. His care­taker is not fluent in Sign Language, although she does prac­tices with him daily.

I kept thinking about how lonely this boy must feel. After I spent more time with him and got to know him better, my eyes were opened to his reality. Yeah, he’s young and he has suf­fered a lot, but who is this child beyond these ail­ments? He is a normal boy: he has an extremely funny per­son­ality, he loves to play UNO, and he HATES to lose. I shouldn’t limit him to his suf­fering, it’s impor­tant to rec­og­nize and keep in mind these prob­lems that he has to deal with, but more impor­tant than that is to see him as a child of God who is loved more that I can even imagine. I’ve learned so much from this child: how to live life in the midst of suf­fering, how to laugh with real joy, and (of course) how to play a good game of UNO!

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