HIV

‘Please, don’t let them forget me.’ It was as if time stood still. ‘Do you want to come off the ventilator?’ He nodded yes.’: Woman loses husband to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, leaves behind death letter ‘asking everyone to donate blood’

“In weeks, my husband went from being able to drive to and from work, to having to be driven to work, to working from home. One day, got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. He was so unsteady that I held my breath while I listened for him to return to bed. He made a stop in our children’s rooms to give them each a kiss. I had this terrible thought it would be the last time he’d do so.”

‘She was HIV+ and we knew she was our daughter. Time stopped when we saw her. She was absolutely beautiful and perfect, but her oversized clothes hung loosely on her tiny frail body.’: Couple adopt HIV+ daughter, now pregnant with ‘miracle’ baby

“We were looking for a child with HIV. When we learned she was positive, we KNEW she was the one. She was 2 years old and only weighed 15 pounds. I started seeing a trauma counselor. James learned how to breathe in public again, knowing no one was coming after us. Then BAM – Morning sickness!”

‘Why did he choose ME?’ I lay in a hospital bed, the nurse conducting a rape kit after I’d slept in my cousin’s bed.’: Woman overcomes sexual trauma with help from son, ‘there is finally joy in our life’

“I told my cousin I needed to lie down. He offered his bedroom to me. I didn’t think twice about it. I was safe. I was with family. I went to sleep. The next thing I know, my body was rocking. There was pressure. Unrecognizable pressure. Someone was behind me.”

‘My friends invited me for a weekend getaway. I got a few itchy bites. ‘Are you pregnant?’ ‘Maybe it’s bacterial?’ This was a disease I had never heard of. There is NO cure for it.’

“I assumed it was the flu. I drank plenty of fluids and stayed in bed. But I wasn’t getting better. I had shooting pains all the way up my spine, as if someone was sawing me open. I went back to the doctor. ‘I think it’s food poisoning.’ ‘Maybe cancer.’ ‘HIV.’ ‘Is it possible you’re pregnant?’ No.”

‘When will we hear the patter of tiny feet? ‘You don’t want to be OLD parents, do you?’: Family adopts 2 children after struggling for years with infertility

“The phone call that changed our life. It was 8 p.m. on a Wednesday when the phone rang. It was our social worker. ‘How would you like to come and meet a baby boy? He’s almost 6 weeks old.’ My scream must have deafened her. We’d been waiting to adopt a child for two years and before that had spent five long, desperate years of infertility tests and treatments to try for one of our own.”

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