Madalitso's Story-by Dr. Perry Jansen
He can now speak about HIV ‘first hand’
I still remember my first contact with "Madalitso", a 35 year old man who works with a large organization in Malawi. His was not an uncommon story… a young, previously healthy man who came with the diagnosis of a “stroke”. Like many others I have seen, the left-sided paralysis was not due to a stroke, but a serious fungal infection that can be seen in AIDS patients (toxoplasmosis). Despite the seriousness of the diagnosis, Madalitso was grateful to know the truth. With proper treatment for the infection, and then antiretroviral therapy for HIV, his symptoms improved greatly.
Six weeks later, Madalitso was back to work with a new perspective on life and his work. Get this...he works doing community education about HIV/AIDS. He can now speak about HIV ‘first hand’ with a new zeal to help others. At a recent visit, Madalitso said that he was grateful for his HIV infection because it helped him understand what is important in life and has brought him closer to God.
What an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives physically as well as spiritually! Our motto at PIH is “Christ’s love in word and deed”. Our staff is trained in offering spiritual care for our patients in a way which respects their beliefs, but brings great comfort during a difficult time.