Life Stories

Maria's Story...

Marrying and bearing children is the best thing any person would like to do. Children, in all situations, are the sweetest thing to have. When living in poverty, parents put all their hopes on their children, hoping that eventually they will earn money and save the family from the vicious circle of poverty. 

However, all such dreams and hopes are shattered when a chronic illness invades the family. Poverty is a ‘cousin’ to diseases and in a poor family, diseases are very often present. The existence of disease often leads to the children’s premature deaths, or leading challenging, hopeless lives. 

Children bring happiness to the family but when chronic illness is present the very poor often cannot afford medical care, leading to despair and even break up of families. Sadly, and ignorantly, the child then innocently becomes a curse to his/her family. This is exactly what happen to Maria’s family. 

Johnson's Story...

Johnson was born on 11th August 2013, the only son of Joseph and Proscovia, a Ugandan couple living in extreme poverty in Masaka, Uganda. Tragically, very soon after birth, it was obvious that Johnson was not a well child and it was discovered that he had been born with a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot.

Tetralogy of Fallot involves four anatomical abnormalities of the heart and, in the so called developed world, is treated with corrective surgery, usually within the first year of life. Tetralogy of Fallot results in low oxygenation of blood. The primary symptom is low blood oxygen saturation with or without cyanosis from birth (blue baby) or developing in the first year of life. Other symptoms include difficulty in feeding, failure to gain weight, retarded growth and physical development, and shortness of breath on exertion.

Suzan's Story...

“My name is Suzan Namirimu.  My mother died when I was 7 years. At that time I was a healthy girl. Shortly after my mother’s death my aunt took me to her home. A few months later I started falling sick.  

I developed sores all over my body. I couldn’t walk or sleep because of the pain. My aunt gave me herbs but these failed to heal me. She called my father for help but my father never responded. In the end my aunt gave up on me and took me  to my grandmother. 

Another aunt, called Cissy, came and convinced my grandmother to take me to her hospital, from where she was getting her drugs for her HIV. It was then that I discovered I was also HIV positive. When my father was told about my sickness, he hid and stopped calling on my grandmother. Due to lack of support, grandmother insisted on taking me to my father. We found him drunk, which happened every day.  

Joseph's Story

Burns are a global public health problem, accounting for an estimated 180,000 deaths annually. The majority of these occur in low - and middle - income countries and almost two thirds occur in Africa and South-East Asia.

Burns are one of the most devastating household injuries. In Uganda, burn injuries account for 11% of all childhood injuries and children constitute 75% of the burn victims seen in hospitals in and around Kampala. Non-fatal burns are a leading cause of morbidity, including prolonged hospitalisation, disfigurement and disability, often with resulting stigma and rejection. This is the story of one young Ugandan boy, who bravely faced a devastating, life changing burns injury.

Joseph Mbidde is 12 years old. His father is a fisherman but the Ugandan government has stopped his fishing rights following a number of cases of illegal fishing. As a result the family live in desperate poverty. 

Jeremiah's Story...

This is Jeremiah’s story as told by his grandfather...

My daughter, Jeremiah’s mother, ran away from home and went to Kampala when she was still a young girl of 16 years. After two years, she was brought back critically ill and pregnant. We started nursing her. After four months, she gave birth to Jeremiah when alone at home as we had gone out to work. It was too much!  If we had known, we would have arranged a traditional birth attendant for her, even though we are poor.

Ten days after Jeremiah’s birth, his mother died. After her death, I faced another challenge - of feeding her son. I had no money to buy him milk or any other feeds. Within three weeks he became sick. I took him to Bukulula health centre where he was tested and found to be HIV positive. This is when I learnt that my daughter had died of AIDS. Jeremiah started slowly wasting even though he had been initiated onto ARVs. The time came, when I felt I could do nothing to save his life. I started waiting for the day when he would take his last breath!

Cissy's Story...

Life was the worst thing I had ever thought of. I never knew what life was without tablets. During my early years, when my mother was still alive, we used to take tablets together and I thought it was normal and no-one could live without tablets. Time passed and my mother became very sick and eventually she died.

I was taken to live with my father. There I found that none of the family members were taking tablets daily. When I inquired, I was told that I had HIV which had come from my mother. My family neglected me and none of them would play or eat with me. I was forbidden to sit in the sitting room when we had a visitor. I began to believe that having HIV is a curse and whoever had it would be punished by death. I suffered neglect yet I had no body to share with. I decided to stop taking my drugs for six months, hoping I would eventually die...  

Kennedy's Story...

Myself and my sister have been born HIV+ve.  Our mother is caring but our father is an alcoholic. We are very poor and when my sister and I fell sick we had no money to find the treatment we needed.

I had lost hope in life and lived one day at a time, thinking that the day of my death was drawing nearer.  One day, I was talking to Isaac, my friend; he told me his secret about the success of his life.  He was also born with HIV, lives a poor life but he was never like me.  “COIN cares for my life.” Isaac said. “Go to see William at Wellspring”. This I did and a few months later was told I was to be given a sponsor from the UK. Since then my life has changed dramatically. I now know that someone really cares for me.

When I get sick, my medical services are well catered for and I am given food supplements every month.  I had previously stopped playing football because I was always sickly, but now I play even better than before!

Elizabeth's Story...

My name is Elizabeth Nahamya. I have one brother called Obed Nokwe. In my family, my father has died and my brother and mother are also disabled. Before the death of my father, he worked in people’s gardens to secure us some food. When he died, we became a problem to people around us. They called us names and we were referred to as a cursed family. Being disabled is a big problem.  You are never considered a human being. 

My mother had to start looking for jobs but found heavy work difficult because of her disability.  Instead, I used to work on her behalf. However, the more I grow, the more my disability worsened and in time I could not perform heavy work either. We were chased out of our home and had nowhere to live. My mother started baking and selling pancakes but continually we had to move from house to house, trying to find somewhere to sleep. 

Mahad's Story...

I am Ssekiziyivu Mahad, aged 17 year and I completed my S.4 last year. How can I summarize my life story? I have lived a hard life.  A life that I think even a slave has never lived. A life full of neglect, oppression, poverty and diseases. Thanks to Wellspring because for them, they accepted me…

...I think, I was born normal like other children.  I used to stay with my mother. What I remember, during my early years, I used to have frequent fevers and my mother always took me to health centres for treatment. 
At some stage, I could not even complete a month without falling sick.  This sequence kept on changing and it became more frequent.  In 2010, my mum took to me for HIV screening at Bukulula H/C. We never got the results on the spot but after three days, we went back to collect our results. That is when I was told that I had HIV.  Within the same year, Mum suffered terrible headaches which led to her death.

Florence's Grandmother's Story...

The grandmother of Florence Birimuye, a child brought into Wellspring in 2010 dying from AIDS, has sent these words of thanks to all the sponsors in the UK.

“When Florence fell sick with the same illness which caused the death of her mother, my daughter, I was in despair. Once again I saw a child of mine dying with no hope of assistance. Medcare, through UK sponsorship, has transformed our lives. Florence is alive and well and attending school. My family are well fed and have been provided with a new home and I am filled with joy. Words cannot express my thanks to all those so far away who care for us.”  

11 children are presently on the sponsorship waiting list. All urgently need assistance for their present health and long term survival.  

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