Looking Through the Eyes of the Patient

Photo by John-Michael Maas

Each day, thousands of people around the world are affected by tuberculosis whether directly or indirectly, and every 20 seconds one of these people die. TB hits all ages and all races with great devastation, but has become so ingrained in history that it has been assumed a tormentor long conquered and retired.

Photo by John-Michael Maas

Patient taking TB drugs
Photo By John-Michael Maas

No, TB still plays a great role often behind the scenes influencing the deaths of 2 million people a year. Statistics are like looking at a photograph of a great boxing match with massive crowds. Every moment, the patients, community, researchers, health care workers, and so many others are at the event experiencing it all first hand and are wishing so many more were there to help cheer for a final knock-out punch for TB.

Photo by John-Michael Maas

There continues to be hope and below are excerpts and links to two stories about real people encountering, combating, and eventually overcoming TB in there personal lives.


Carmen’s Story (From Partners in Health)

Carmen was born with a knack for business. “I could even sell stones,” she jokes. The key to her blossoming career is personalized attention and persistence – she once spent an entire day marketing honey to a single restaurant. Yet, before Carmen could focus on building her now thriving honey business she had to first overcome a dangerous and often deadly disease – multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) – a challenge she won with the help of PIH’s sister organization in Peru, Socios En Salud (SES)…Read more.


Imla’s Story (From The Independent)

No one knows how I caught it. I could have walked by somebody while they were coughing. I could have got it from damp in the walls. It’s impossible to tell.

For eight months, they kept testing me. My motor skills went, my memory became patchy. I’m still getting flashbacks, five years later. My face was gaunt and my skin had gone grey. I was using a walking stick to get around.

There were moments when I felt that I was looking down on my body from the ceiling. Just looking, convincing myself to choose life.

Tuberculosis – TB – isn’t something you associate with life in England. It’s not like getting the flu. When you hear of it you think of Victorian times, of the Black Death. Before I had it, I couldn’t really have told you anything about it…Read more.

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