Monday, February 24, 2014

Patients Exiting the MDR Program

We have some great news to report from the most recent fall visit.  Most of our patients are doing really well.  Many have graduated after 18 months of MDR treatment.  This is fantastic.  When we first were involved with Dongdaewon, patients were often much longer term.  The MDR program, along with technology such as the Genex machine is helping our patients get the right medication for their needs quickly.

Graduation day is one of mixed emotions.  Treatment for TB is harsh and many of the patients feel very ill from their medication and the disease.  It takes a lot of courage to keep taking medication that makes you feel sick.  On graduation day, patients are relieved to be done with treatment, very happy to be cured and know they have another chance at life.  Often, many of them are scared to go, as they worry about what will happen if they get TB again.  They know that very few patients are lucky enough to get treatment and there is no guarantee they will have access to treatment if they get sick again.  It is also one of mixed emotions, because some patients will be discontinuing treatment due to a lack of response and no cure available for them.

Lets meet our graduating patients.  For privacy, we need to protect their names, but if you want to read the spring report with those details, feel to ask one of the DDW reps to access it for you.  If you click the initials below each picture, you can see earlier pictures of our patients and see how they were a year or so ago.
G.C has been enrolled in the MDR program since the fall of 2011.  He was thrilled to graduate in Spring 2013 and thanks you all for his newfound health.

S.J was enrolled in the spring of 2011.  He graduated treatment in Spring 2013 and was excited to be able to return home to his family and loved ones.

C.O. first caught TB in 2008 when she was only 23.  She failed two rounds of treatment before being picked up onto the MDR program by Eugene Bell.  We have been supporting C.O  since she started treatment in April 2012.  She was thrilled to be cured of MDR and is able to return home to her parents.  She loves music and according to the other patients, dances well!  She will be enjoying her ability to engage in both with her new health.

J D has also been in treatment since April 2012.  He loves to read and says that he is grateful for the support shown to him from the SFS students and our community.  He is grateful for a new chance at life with his wife and 8 year old daughter.  

CJ is cured!  He has fought hard to be well and has been in treatment for MDR since fall, 2010.  As well as being treated, he has stepped up in a role as team leader for other patients, helping ensure that they stay on their medication regime.  CJ is a farmer with two daughters.  Graduation was an incredible day for him.  He is grateful for the medicine and support from the SFS community and is hoping to stay well.

A.H has been in treatment since the fall of 2011.  He was excited to be returning home to his wife and job as a lab tech.  He is grateful that his wife did not catch MDR from him and thankful for his gift of health.

G.S. has had a long fight with TB.  She failed treatment in 2006 and 2008.  In 2008, her health was so bad that she thought she was dying.  G.S has been in treatment since Spring 2012 and is cured of her MDR.  Your seeds of generosity and love provided her medicine and gave her back her health.  She is most excited to reunited with her 22 year old daughter (who is a nurse) and 19 year old son.  Thank you.

H.M. was overjoyed to be cured of MDR TB.  He started treatment in the Spring of 2012 and was thrilled to graduate in the fall on 2013.  We wish him all the best as he rejoins his loved ones.

H.C. has been in treatment since the Spring of 2012.  He was overjoyed to be among the graduating patients this past fall and is grateful for the medicine you provided to cure his TB.

K.O has been in treatment since the fall of 2011 and is so thrilled to finally be cured.  She is looking forward to time with her family and a new chance at a healthy life.

We don't have an updated photo for M.Y.  but apparently she was looking great at the graduation ceremony.  M.Y. was excited to return home to her husband and 7 year old daughter, whom she has not seen for over a year.  She loves to dance traditional Korean dances and is looking forward to being able to do this once more with her newfound health.  She is grateful for the medicine that the school provided.

Sad News For Some of Our Patients
One of the sad parts of a clinic visit is seeing the medicine boxes left from patients who have died or are having to discontinue the program due to a lack of response to medication, which means they have XDR TB, for which there is no cure.  Unfortunately, since we last visited, several of our patients have passed away.  Both of them were responding well to TB treatment, but sometimes TB takes such a terrible toll on their health that they die from associated complications.  Please pray for the families of these patients, that they would find comfort in their times of grief.

K.J. passed away before the last Spring visit.  He had been responding well to treatment, but TB had just taken too big a toll on his health.  Although it is sad that he has passed away, he passed on having hope for a cure and knowing that he was cared about.

Sadly, O.C. also passed away before the last Spring visit.  Like K.J. he had also been responding well to treatment, but had just too many other complications.  Never underestimate the power of hope that medicine provides for our patients - the fact that they are getting treatment and that you send them medicine is a huge thing for them.

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