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Good news stories

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Our housekeeper is a good news story in a bad news tale - so far that is - but getting here hasn’t been an easy journey. She noticed a lump in her neck and took herself off to the clinic - after hours of sitting and being ignored she was seen by someone who said she needed to be admitted.

I received a panicked call from my hysterical housekeeper who, having been pushed around from pillar to post prior to being diagnosed with HIV, she had spent weeks in Baragwaneth and memories of that experience linger just under the service. I suggested she come to me and we visited my local doctor for their opinion.

This has led us to spending, over the next couple of months, endless hours at the Helen Joseph trying to make our way through the chaotic and seemingly broken system. The system is so clearly represented in the misery of the buildings, a place that meant to be healing or at the very least helping people. The Helen Joseph is, I believe, one of the better government healthcare facilities which is shocking to the nth degree.

Determined that Lindiwe not fall through the cracks of this broken system I’ve held her hand and asked the questions that, out of fear and perhaps a degree of unsophistication, needed to be asked. In the hours we spent at the hospital I looked around at the seemingly hopelessness of it. There are literally hundreds of people lost in those corridors some so sick they can barely raise a voice to ask a question that may just get them seen.

But through it all and just when I wanted to tear my hear out we would always find someone to help us take the next step up. Once you finally get in front of a person who isn’t just there to push papers you get the help that is so desperately needed and I was buoyed by the belief that they do actually care. There are just too few trying to help just too many.

But if you ask the right questions, if you put in the time, if you refuse to be pushed on without getting the right help then the help is there - it’s not hopeless and there are good news stories, so far my beloved Lindiwe is one of them.

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