Karina’s Story

Karina is a three-year-old girl who has lost her mother and brother to HIV. Karina’s father is a gentle spirit, also suffering from HIV: now, they only have each other.

The family moved to Jakarta from their village to earn a living.  Karina and her father are living in a car park during the day and sleeping in a rented room at night.  Without a residence, they are struggling to get a permit to access healthcare.  They have to rely on the kindness of the healthcare centres and on Rachel House nurses to get the medicine Karina needs. Her father is also suffering with his own symptoms, which makes it difficult for him to care for her.

Karina suffers from HIV and Lung tuberculosis, and recently her symptoms have been getting worse.  She is unable to eat without vomiting and she cries out for her mother.  As she finally realises that her mother and brother won’t be coming back, she withdraws herself, clutching a photograph of her lost family members wherever she goes.

Without the weekly visits of Rachel House nurses, it would be impossible for Karina’s father to get the medication to ease her condition and improve her quality of life.  Due to their links with the healthcare centres, the nurses are able to lobby for treatment and help the father get the permit he needs.  Karina’s life is hard enough, and if we can ease her pain and greet her with a smile, we can improve her quality of life.  A little joy goes a long way.