Over the years, Siam-Care has been making a difference for many children in need. There is always this one child, which story we remember better than any other child. For our staff Passawan, this is the story of Som, a girl whose life had a rough start.
When we asked Passawan, who has been working and volunteering for Siam-Care for more than 15 years, who’s story we should share with our donors, she immediately mentioned Som’s name. We met Som in 2001, when she was only 6 years old. Som was referred to Siam-Care by the local hospital. She was very weak, due to her HIV-infection. She was born infected, since both of her parents were infected with the HIV-virus as well. Even though she was old enough to go to school, she did not attend school. She was too weak, even so weak that people around her feared that she would maybe pass away at a young age. Som refused to take her medication, which could make her feel better. Every time her mother tried to let Som take her medication, she cried and screamed until her mother stopped trying.
Life improved gradually
Even though Som was weak, she was a very cheerful girl. She loved to dance and would always perform during Siam-Care family camps. The image of this dancing and smiling young girl, is still burned into the memory of our staff Passawan and always puts a smile on her face. And seeing how Som is doing now, 17 years after we met her, also puts a big smile on Passawan’s face. Som is now 23 years old and faithfully takes her medication. Siam-Care staff was able to gradually convince Som of the importance of taking medication and explained many times why Som could not live without medication. Her CD4, which is like a snapshot of how well your immune system is functioning, is at the right level. Due to Som's improving health situation, and with Siam-Care financial support, Som was able to go to school when she was 7.
A healthy son
Som also has a son now, who is as healthy as can be. When HIV-infected pregnant woman take their medication during the pregnancy, the chances of their baby being born infected are very slim. Som now enjoys life and is thankful for Siam-Care’s help. We cannot heal Som from HIV and she will have to accept that she needs to be careful with her health and take medication every day for the rest of her life. But we were able to stand next to her and guide and counsel her through the troubles she faces in life. Thank you for your support. Because of people like you, Siam-Care can reach out to people like Som.
So would like to stay anonymous, hence we have used a picture of somebody else. We have also used another name.