This poor little girl has had an incredibly difficult start to life. TTL has been with her from day 10, but 1.5 years on we are still struggling to diagnose what is wrong with her. Her body refuses to gain weight. She struggles to keep food down and fluids run right through her. We have worked very closely with Baylor hospital and her family to assess and examine her needs. She is HIV Negative. At 7 months we decided to bring her into the Safe Home to help her gain weight. However, she refused to settle in. She rejected all food, drink and attention. Changing tact, we took *Lerato home and continued with an intensive home-visit form of care. We have kept a very close eye on her over the past year and she seemed to do well at home.
However, last week when we visited *Lerato we found that she had deteriorated rapidly and was now -4SD on the WHO Z score. Prompted by her mother, we decided to bring *Lerato back to the Safe Home to try to treat her here again. We have had to handle the situation very carefully, knowing full well how she reacted to Safe Home treatment last time. However, she has been with us for 6 days and we are very happy to announce that she has settled in well and is starting to gain weight. In 6 days, on the F100 diet, she has gained 2kg. She will stay here, as long as she remains happy and comfortable, to receive constant care from the Baylor and TTL staff. During this time we hope to monitor her health more closely and assess her illness.
*Child’s name changed to protect identity
The TTLF Fellow is a representative of the North American organisation Touching Tiny Lives Foundation. Based for one year in Mokhotlong, Lesotho, the TTLF Fellow serves in an administrative support capacity for the Basotho charity Touching Tiny Lives (TTL).