Monday, May 6, 2013
6 year old Zidan arrived at the hospital 10 days ago. He had pneumonia and he looked like he was 3 years old instead of 6. He had classic signs of Kwashiorkor(protein malnutrition) with a big belly, swollen hands and feet with sparse, fine hair. We were not surprised that his HIV test was positive. It was clear by looking at him that he did not feel well. The presence of a white doctor who did not speak his language was not a comfort to him. After a few days of increased protein intake and treating his pneumonia his fear of me gradually diminished. A few days ago I was finally able to get a small smile from him. Zidan was discharged today and while I likely will never see him again I will always remember the reluctant goodbye wave he gave me with a small smile.