At last. I made it! I am so happy to be here. It has been 3 long years of not seeing our friends at the hospice in Kabuga, Rwanda, the only such place in the country.
But the truth is that whether we are here or not, THANKS TO YOU, every day, a lot of GOOD takes place here – you restore dignity and bring smiles to people for whom illness and fate have made life a regular hell on Earth. How much GOOD and LIFE I have seen here today….
Jospeh (75 years old) – some time ago, he was discharged from hospital because there was nothing more that could be done for him. Even changing the dressing of his throat, which had been attacked by cancer, caused the hospital staff to turn their heads. The stench emanating from the wounds meant that Joseph was treated like a leper. In the end, he was refused even the simplest nursing care. After much hardship, he found us. At the hospice, action was immediately taken. Regular compresses with colloidal silver have immediately reduced the swelling in his throat and neutralise bad smells constantly. And although Jospeh’s morphine doses are constantly being increased and the illness is taking away any strength he may have left, his mental strength is astounding. Today, when I visited him, he asked for a photo together, but first had the nurses help him change. Gentleman to the end. Class and chic must be there, no matter what!
Matilda (74) – a Rwandan volcano of joy! She rises to dance every time she hears a rhythm to a tune. She was the one at the head of the dance group that welcomed me to the hospice. Genocide was not the only tragedy she experienced. After suffering a stroke that robbed her of control over her own body and its functions, she was rejected by her family. She became too much of a burden. No one wants to visit her, but fortunately she doesn’t remember that. And it’s her sense of humour…it amuses everyone. Today, she asked Ernestine if she could prescribe something for the overwhelming longing in her heart for…Fanta. And how can one refuse such a request? Ernestine, our administrator, had no choice, Fanta had to appear at the hospice.
Beata (48 years old) – this encounter was the most powerful for me today. Without words, in complete silence. The silence that surrounds a person who is dying … Beata’s breast cancer had exhausted her body to the extreme. She was discharged from hospital in this condition. Deprived of everything, living in extreme poverty, she didn’t even have a place in this world. Fortunately, one of the doctors knew our hospice. We admitted Beata straight away.
Today we looked at each other for a while. I think I was trying in my mind to say goodbye to her before the road ahead of her… When suddenly Beata mustered something extraordinary… a smile that was filled with joy and gratitude. It was as if she was trying to tell us all – “Thank you for not leaving me alone…”.
That is what our hospice is like. It is not a place of dying, but of living fully, to the end. Here, thanks to you, we can give our patients as much as they can get on this Earth: another day without pain, in the sense of being fully cared for. Another day of regained dignity and awareness that, no matter how seriously ill, everyone deserves care, love and attention. And we thank you VERY much for that….
If you would like to donate to one of our patients, then have a look at GoodWorks 24/7. Every contribution you make means more moments that make up our patients’ days filled with LIFE.