Through a generous donation from a friend and supporter in the States we were able to purchase a variety of coats and blankets to give to those who needed them the most. On Monday, July 26th, we went throughout Thabong and Hani Park with 4 caregivers from Hospice and visited patients who were in great need of some extra warmth.
The O'Tools took 2 caregivers and covered the west side of Thabong and we took 2 caregivers covering the east side of Thabong. Hospice cares for many people, young and old. The majority of the patients are sick with HIV/AIDS but they also care for those with cancer and other terminal illnesses. We visited some of the oldest grannies we've ever met and also many, many young patients-some in their teens and twenties.
We gave coats and blankets to patients and family members. This old granny was so thankful for her new blanket. We also gave her a coat for her granddaughter who is 14 yrs old. This granny is the main caregiver for her granddaughter.
We also visited a few patient who are completely bed bound, no ability to get out of bed and home all alone. One very old man was all alone, laying in bed with no clothes, just a blanket and unable to talk because of his condition. A family member left him a orange next to his pillow for his food for the day. This sickly man isn't even strong enough to sit up, let alone peel an orange. The caregivers shared many similar stories with us. The sadness they see on a daily basis is overwhelming. These caregivers are real saints, they are trained in their job but do not receive any pay. They receive a stipend to cover their transport to work everyday but nothing above that. Each caregiver visits 2 or 3 patients a day and after spending a few hours with them I now understand why they are only able to seem a few people a day. They walk to each house and some houses are far apart. Many of the patients they provide total care for; a bed bath, washing of the linens by hand, making of the bed, straightening of the house, check on their food supply, ask about their medications and giving them some personal attention and company.
I am so thankful that we have been able to build a relationship with the hospice association. We hope that we will have many more opportunities to bless them and continue our work along side their people.