Ten days ago I walked into the small baby room at Neema to see one of the nannies carrying this teeny tiny baby to the bathroom. Her skin seemed to hang off of her, her head too big for her thin little neck. Her limbs, like twigs, looked like they would snap with no force.Precious little Noreen. Life had been so cruel to her, her body ravaged with HIV. The HIV that stole her twin sister. The HIV that stole her mother just a few weeks before she came to us. Noreen weighed just 3.5 kg (7.7 lbs) when she arrived at Neema House. She was 11 months old. She would have been turning 1 on the 2nd of July. Within an hour of her arrival she was admitted to the Lutheran hospital where our preferred pediatrician works. Her father came faithfully every day to see her, and it was obvious the grief that ran through his body. The fear and pain in his eyes. To lose his daughter, then his wife, and knowing his precious little Noreen was hanging in the balance.
On the 23 of June, just over a week before her first birthday, Noreen breathed her last breath. It’s a hard reality to accept. To accept that now she isn’t suffering. Now her teeny tiny body can stop fighting. She fought so hard. And we prayed. We prayed and prayed and prayed. You prayed. And yet now this father will be burying his daughter. Our eyes fill we tears and our hearts mourn.Sweet little Noreen. Precious child of the living God. We love you. We will remember you.