A grandmother brought her seven-year-old grandchild to the Clinic. I love these grandmothers who are usually no more than 50 years old. They are – to me – often small and often muscular from hard fieldwork. They bring up at least eight grandchildren at a time, with who knows how few Ghana cedis (the local currency), and still smile even after seeing all the miseries of life and death.
This woman’s granddaughter, Adjoa, had a huge tumor at the opening of her urethra, so I scheduled an appointment for surgery. When I mentioned to her that a parent must sign the papers to consent to the surgery, she looked at me sadly and told me that Adjoa’s mother had died the previous year from AIDS and that her father had disappeared. I asked myself: what will happen to all these children when the grandmother leaves our world? On a happier note, however, thanks to her incredible grandmother, little Adjoa had surgery and is now healthy.