Many of you have been keeping up with Josephine’s health since she moved into Life Okendewa in April 2017. Josephine, like many of our LO kiddos, came to us in pretty poor health. She lived with untreated HIV for many years — and it did a number on her immune system. When Josephine started to eat 3 daily meals she grew overnight — she grew several inches and gained considerable weight! It was incredible the transformation that happened in such a little time.
In the spring of this year we noticed Josephine losing weight, she didn’t have much of an appetite, and she had lost some of the spunk in her step (she’s got a lot of spunk!). One day she felt so bad she couldn’t get out of bed — Tony & Carol rushed her to the doctor. After x-rays and loads of blood work we realized Josephine had Tuberculosis and needed a shift in her HIV medicine. Tuberculosis treatment is a long process — she took medicine for months.
Going to the doctor isn’t always an easy thing for people who love in the bush. There is a medical clinic around 5 miles away but it’s poorly stocked and usually can’t provide much help. When something is seriously wrong - there may not be a viable option for a quick resolution. And so we wait.
We’re in the waiting process again with sweet Josephine. This time Tony and Carol and saw the warning signs — a drop in appetite, weight loss, and weakness — and immediately called our friend, Dr. Geoffrey. He thinks Josephine is experiencing a relapse in the TB and potentially another shift in the HIV. But we’re still waiting on the results.
Its heartbreaking to see this sweet girl struggling against a disease that was passed to her at birth. It’s even more heartbreaking to know millions in this country of Zambia are in the same situation — SO MANY of them children, who end up orphaned because of this terrible disease.
It would be so easy to overcome by defeat when facing a problem so vast. But I look at Josephine and her LO sisters and brothers and know we have so much to rejoice in:
- we have a big and loving Father, who sees and knows Josephine. He cares for and loves her far greater than we’ll ever know, He wants to see her well, and He is STILL a God of miracles.
- we have a trustworthy and knowledgeable doctor on our side and working with us to find a solution.
- Josephine has a home filled with people who love her, a bed all her own, and plenty of food to eat — she is well loved and taken care of.
- we have people all over the world praying for this sweet girl, supporting her, and thinking about her!
Please continue to pray* for Josephine with us! We’re so thankful to have a community who loves her and supports us in this way. Until we know more—
*if you’re a person who doesn’t believe in prayer — we still appreciate your emotional support! Thank you!