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I was born and raised in the city of Cape Town in South Africa. I am the second last born of four children. My mother, being a single parent, tried her best to get me good education.
When I fell sick with TB in my eleventh grade I had to leave school and focus on my health. I remember leaving school during the September recess.
The following are the events of how I overcame TB.
In May 2001 I was diagnosed with TB and I was immediately put on normal TB treatment which was to last for 6 months. When I was not cured in the 6th month which was October 2001, I was hospitalised at Brooklyn chest Hospital. The Doctor told me that I was going to start with a new treatment which was to last for 18 months.
October 2001 to March 2002 were the first 6 months of the correct medication, including the Kanamycin injection but I had to stop the injection somewhere in the second or third month owing to the hearing loss. I went for speech and hearing therapy at Groote Schuur Hospital and was provided with a hearing aid.
In March 2002 I was discharged from Hospital and carried on with the treatment at home.
April 2002 – September 2002 the second 6 months MDR treatment (Multiple Drug Resistance).
October 2002 - March 2003 I completed the total of 18 months MDR treatment.
In 2004 I registered for a Tourism Course at PC Training and Business College. Later I realised that the course would have no value since I did not have a matric.
In 2005 and 2006 I spent my time doing odd jobs and studying matric (Grade 12) in the evenings at St Frances Adult Education Centre.
I got the Matric certificate in 2006 and started applying for Tertiary Education. At that time, I was not sure what I wanted to study, taking into consideration my hearing loss. Unfortunately, I did not know about career counselling and I was on my own.
My application was rejected by numerous Universities but I kept on trying until I was accepted at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in 2009 for the academic year of 2010.
I chose Tourism Management since I had some background with the course I did in 2004.
In 2015 I got my National Diploma in Tourism Management. In the same year I got a one-year Tourism Internship at South African National Parks at the Cape of Good Hope Section.
I am currently in another one year learnership with Polyoak Packaging as an Administration Assistant but I do not use the telephone.
Since I got cured from TB and lost my hearing in the process I have been wanting to do something about it. I always believed there was something that I could do to make people aware that there are toxic drugs that are meant to help people but at the same time have life changing effects. I mean People don’t know. If tell my story to an ordinary person, they are in disbelief. You can see it in their eyes that they do not believe it so people are not aware of what is going on out there. I’ve always wanted to motivate people who have suffered the same loss like me but did not have the platform.
Last week a nursing sister at my workplace called me in and showed me Phumeza’s Tisile’s story on news24. That is how I got to know about the MSF blogging and TB Proof. I got very interested, reading the blogs of many TB sufferers worldwide and how they overcame TB. I saw my platform to share my story. I followed up immediately. I got Phumeza’s contact details, I was amazed by her swift response. To my surprise we are both in the same Country, Province and City, we suffered a hearing loss from the same TB injection.
There are two main reasons why I took this step: -
To free myself from the chains of keeping mum about my story and make the people aware of the detrimental effects of the Kanamycin injection.
To get possible help with the cochlear implant as I believe that I could go far and achieve more with it.
This is my Story.
South Africa (1)
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TB & Me: "I am living proof that TB can be beaten"
25 Jul 2017