Couple Makes Life's Mission Caring for HIV Children
May 7, 2001
Since 1988, Hy and Linda Traurig of Austin, Texas, have brought into their home 43 medically fragile children, most of whom have HIV or AIDS. Both Traurigs quit their jobs -- he was a special education administrator and she was a pediatric nurse -- to provide a home for AIDS babies who were abandoned in hospitals and were expected to die or be shunted off to nursing homes for the rest of their short lives. They dedicated their lives to the care of immune-suppressed children after the death of their own 2-year-old daughter from an immune system disease. Then the couple cashed in their retirement funds to create Faith Home for medically fragile children. ". . . You don't need a high IQ to see that when you're a sick kid the first thing you need is a mom and dad," said Mr. Traurig. Two of the Traurigs' adopted children have grown to adulthood and are living on their own, and many have grown healthy enough to go back to their birth parents. Five have died.Adapted from:
Each day the Traurigs administer 300 doses of medicine. When they go to the pharmacy, they require two shopping carts to carry all the prescription drugs for the nine children now in their care. Pragmatic, the Traurigs have taught the children which medicines belong to whom and when they need to take them. The treatment schedules for the children are planned around school hours, even if it means a child has to wake up in the middle of the night to take a dose. "They're going to have medical problems all their lives," Mrs. Traurig said. "They need to learn to deal with it in a matter-of-fact way, because babying them is going to do nothing more than make them more and more helpless."
The Traurigs' home is a nonprofit agency that receives help from churches and donors. Donations pay the mortgage on their large four-bedroom house in North Central Austin and the salaries of child care workers who work at Faith Home around the clock. The hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical expenses and prescriptions are paid by Medicaid.
Washington Times; 05.06.01; Janet Jacobs
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.