My best friend is sick

I keep her spirits up!

Millions of people around the world suffer from diseases they catch from other sick people. This is one girl’s story.

My name is Rose. I’m 13 and live in South Africa. My best friend Sammy had been coughing for a while. She was out of breath and found it hard to walk far without resting. She was also getting very thin. I knew something was wrong. But she didn’t want to talk about it. I kept telling her to go to the clinic, but she said it was just flu. One day, she coughed very hard. When she looked down there was blood on her hand. Her grandmother took her to the clinic. They tested her, and said she had tuberculosis (TB), which is a dangerous infection in her lungs.

The doctor told her that TB can be treated as long as she took her medicine every day; otherwise she’d get sicker. I couldn’t visit her much unless I wore a mask over my mouth so I didn’t breathe in the germs. I was scared that I may catch the infection but her mom told me that I would be fine if I covered my face and washed my hands carefully once I left.

I tried to cheer her up and keep her laughing. I told her that one day she will be better and she will come back to school. She took her pills every day and she wore a mask over her face whenever anyone came into the room. Sammy is still at home and on treatment because she has Drug Resistant TB, which is harder to treat, but she is doing a bit better now.

Do you want to learn how to keep yourself healthy and avoid germs? Read the tips below: