Born in Western Province of Kenya.
Sammy spent his first year living with his mother up country. Due to an undiagnosed mental condition which we believe to be manic depression. Sammy’s mother was unable to care for him properly.
Reportedly Sammys mother would sit with him in the river at 3am in the bitter cold. He developed serious chest issues .
We first met Sammy in April of 2013. He had a bad cough and was completely covered in mosquito bites. He was being looked after by a neighbor to his grandmother. She asked us on behalf of the grandmother to take him in. We explained that since he had a family it was better for him to stay with them. We thought he was around one year old.
We gave the lady two mosquito nets and some food.
We saw Sammy a few times in the first month and provided some food.
We then did not see him for another two months. When we saw him we did not recognize him. It was only after our babied were given some porridge and he started to fight the smallest for his porridge, I asked that the child be given porridge and when they asked who, some one else answered Sammy,
At first I could not believe it was the same child. I had to look into his eyes and even then was not certain. His face was drawn in and deeply sad. He seamed smaller than before and some how less present.
I immediately thought he must have H.I.V. and so spoke with the lady to allow me to take him to the doctor. She told me the problem was just a lack of food.
Being that the lady looked healthy and her own children looked healthy I doubted that. We took him for HIV testing and found he was negative. We then found out that this boy weighing just 9.5kg who could not talk and walked unsteadily was 1y 9m old. We meet with the Grandmother and agreed at her further request that we take him in until he is well. She promised to visit and to bring his medical records but she has done neither. He was still coughing at this point. We tested him for tuberculosis and put him on an intense feeding program including Plumppy nut (a concentrate food for severely malnourished kids) that we were given at the clinic. When his TB x-ray came back saying possible Pneumonia he was put on treatment as well as being diagnosed as severely anemic. Sammy began to change fast. He started to smile and even say a few words . However his caught continued to worsen. We received a new baby at this time who was in a critical state in hospital. She was joined by my daughter who became very ill with high temperature and rigors. Sammy made the triad joining us in hospital after his pneumonia worsened and he developed a high temp. When I saw him I became very worried. He looked very very sick and given his back ground I was not sure he had the strength to fight this. One in five Kenyan children under five die of pneumonia.
Sammy however proved to be a fighter, after receiving full treatment including physiotherapy and steaming he made a fast recovery. We know he would have received only the antibiotics in a public hospital and feared it may not be enough.
While he remains on many medications he is now a very different boy. He laughs a lot talks a lot and loves to jump around in circles. He is discovering books with great interest. He loves to go to the local park and play on the slides which used to scare him but he now loves. He is a very affectionate boy who loves his hugs.
He now always has something to say and always bring a smile to our faces.
UPDATE JAN 2015
Sammy has turned into a little acrobat. He loves to climb and jump. He is friendly and kind. He loves his long hair and complains if it is not retouched before a big outing. He remains scrawny but he is very strong.