It’s a long story how I found BamBam… but I did. And somehow I brought him to the Tuberculosis Center here in Manila. I held his hand while the doctors did biopsy’s on the tumors on his back… I sat beside his bed while others died around him… I fought to get free medicine for him… I cared for him and then brought him home to Gentle Hands and he became a DAVID Boy…
Only 2 months later, feeling better and gaining weight, he ran away. I never saw him again.
In 2003, his wife, once angry and one of my worst enemies, saw me walking in Escopa, the community where they were from. “He’s dead,” she said, tears falling. “He called your name over and over… I was too embarrassed to come and get you. But, Ate Charity, he called for you. He knew you loved him.”
She left me standing alone, tears falling down my own cheeks.
Now, May, 2006, Cecil is at my door with her 3 children. Her baby is just 2 but 3rd degree malnourished and a rushed chest x-ray reveals my suspicions. Advanced primary koch’s infection, Tuberculosis. The x-ray shows only one lung. Her sister and brother at 3 and 6, have it too. Oh, they are so young to be so sick.
Her tiny arms wrap around my neck as my doctor friend tries to decide what medicine we will give. Melody is so tiny and frail. Can her body take the medicine? Will the disease react? Or is it resistant already? I hold her little hands and she glances up at me quickly before I catch her eyes. I see BamBam’s face when I look at her. Oh God, thank you for another chance with this family, my heart cries out. If only I could reach Cecil this time. Melody leans her head on my chest. My head is swirling with thoughts, fears, and prayers. I savor the moment of holding her close in the taxi as we head home.
I couldn’t save her daddy… but maybe I can save her.
*You could help us save a child. $1 a day buys the necessary medicine for tuberculosis treatment for a child. The time frame is 6 months. For more info, email Charity at firstname.lastname@example.org