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Friday, May 31, 2013

Honduras: Ernesto, living with HIV, not dying of AIDS

There is no heartbreak like a health clinic that is of little to no use to its patients because it is chronically short of medicines and supplies. But we see this happening in poor villages all across the world. It’s why we pour a lot of our time into procuring medicines and medical supplies and shipping them to clinics and hospitals that serve the poorest of the poor.

HOPE International Development Agency staff member Rainbow Choi recently visited Honduras to visit a ‘dozen or so clinics, hospitals, [and] rural pharmacies’ where these shipments are making a huge difference. Her description of a man named Ernesto leaves an indelible impression:

[A]n AIDS patient, more frail than anyone I’ve ever seen with my own eyes -- mere skin draped over bones; sunken eyes lifelessly gazing past the circular frame of the bony cavity that holds them.

But we witness life here. Here, in this man hooked up to an IV with antibiotics... one of many bags of IV antibiotics that arrived from a HOPE International Development Agency shipment just two months ago. The doctor tells us this man's story - one week from death when he walked into the clinic... and affirms with a hushed but joyful whisper that he is not going to die.

And we realize, in this moment, there is life. This is not a patient dying of AIDS. This is a man living... living with AIDS. 

The donor of these antibiotics is with me, and he takes in the life that is being given, as those medicines found their way just two months ago from Kansas, to our Honduran partners, to this clinic, and into the arm and blood of this very man who will recover and live.

And we stand together, along with this man, with the doctor, and with our local staff...  not only with conviction, but also with commitment...  that each life is of value.


Indeed! There are stories like Ernesto’s unfolding all over the world, thanks to these live-saving shipments. We’re very grateful to be a part of that.

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