‘Life in a Hospice’
By a Year 11 student
“Before visiting the hospice, I had never expected the things I would have learnt. I was aware that HIV had no cure, and I was aware that it was a dangerous disease, but I had never known the many things that happened in order for someone affected to keep pushing forward.
When we entered the hospice, we were greeted by a woman called Mai. Unbeknown to us, Mai actually had HIV. If she had not mentioned it, we would never have known. It was clear that Mai was a sturdy woman and she was still working hard and was able to support herself. She had spoken to us about her journey, and we learnt that all those who were close to her had abandoned her simply because she contracted HIV. She mentioned the difficulty she had finding the right medications and her incredibly strict diet. I was stunned when she said that she could become immune to her medication if she missed taking one of them. I then realised just how severe HIV really was.
At the female ward we had spoken to a few patients.Two of them were just 32 and 37 years old, but looked much younger. It made me sad to think of those who are less fortunate and may struggle when it comes to receiving the right treatments, and who may have to sacrifice some things that are important to them. The visits to the wards really opened my eyes about how the infected handle the illness. Despite the fact that many had said that the hospice had made them happier than they ever were before, I couldn’t help but think of all the struggles they still had to go through.
After hearing the stories of the people, and the challenges they had to endure, I felt it was an obligation for someone as fortunate as me to help them. The visits helped me learn new things that I wouldn’t have expected, and they helped to widen my perspective in terms of what life is like for others. The trip made me realise how important it is for us as humans to never take anything for granted. We should appreciate and be happy about the good things life has given us.
I think the trip was an important lesson to many of us. The message that came with it is that we should know how fortunate we are, and try our best to help those in need around us.”