As with “Mary’s Story” Joanna (not her real name) is also looked after at home by the hospice team from Nakuru. Hospice Care Kenya has provided grants to fund morphine and pay for a nurse for three years. One patient they visit is Joanna who lives in her two room house with no electricity or water. She is a 30 year old single mum of two boys aged eleven and thirteen. They are her main carers as she is bedridden with an osteosarcoma of the thigh which has never been treated. She did not have the money to pay for treatment and the nearest centre for chemotherapy or radiotherapy was Nairobi a four hour trip away. She is receiving pain relief free of charge from the hospice, who visit regularly and have taught her and her sons how to dress the wound so that it does not smell and is a little more comfortable. Each evening when they come back from school the boys will bathe and feed her and the community around her look in and try to provide food and the money for her rent. Indeed the hospice nurses will also quietly give the boys some money as they leave.
A smile belies the anguish, but thanks to the home team at least Joanna is pain free and knows that someone cares.