Sometimes life really does work in amazing ways, leading us down paths we wouldn’t usually follow and meeting people that really change the way we look at things. A few years ago, I was contacted through this blog by the lovely Lynna at Rachel House and we met to try and find a way that we could work together to share stories of the beautiful children that are cared for by her incredible team.
Rachel House is a palliative care service which provides home care for children with life-threatening conditions who are unable to afford medical treatment. Hearing stories from Lynna and her team about the conditions that some terminally ill children live in, and many that have already lost both their parents, really broke my heart and had me unable to hold back my tears. I really wanted to be able to help but still wasn’t quite sure how I could make a difference.
Fast forward a year or so to 2015 and I found myself walking past a book shelf in our home office when a photo I had never seen before fell down infront of me. I quickly looked at it and saw that it was a picture of what looked like a sick child with some bandages on. I didn’t think much of it and put it back on the shelf between some books.
A couple of weeks later I received a call from Lynna again and we decided to meet yet again to discuss the possibility of making some short films for Rachel House. The aim was to share the stories of the children and the team that cares for them, and show this to a wider audience. My husband and I met with Lynna and after a long discussion it was discovered that Putra had taken photos at Rachel House when it first opened and the photo that had fallen off the shelf was of Bayu, the first child that was admitted to their inpatient facility, and who also passed away not long after as she was really unwell. I took that chance encounter of the photo falling infront of me as a sign that somehow Bayu wanted us to help Rachel House and so we agreed to do so.
Through this project we met with some gorgeous young children with various life threatening illnesses who moved me to tears with their sweetness, as well as the Rachel House nurses and carers who do incredible work looking after these children and their families. They have also trained up members in the community to also help with additional care of these children.
We ventured out to Kalibaru in North Jakarta and met with a lovely family who have a young son, Rian, who uptil 2015 spent most of his days lying down at home, barely able to move, after sustaining an injury when he was a toddler. Thanks to Maulana who is a community worker that volunteered to help with Rian, and the nurses and team at Rachel House, there has been a significant improvement in Rian’s condition and he is now able to move his head on his own.
I took Samudra with us on one of our visits and he played with Rian and gave him some of his animal toys, and the smile on Rian’s face to have some company and a little friend to play with just melted my heart.
We also got to be part of the most touching experience, taking Rian on his first ever outing, to the pasar malam (night bazaar). The smile on his face and the shine in his eyes will stay with me always and I feel so happy that we were able to make a small difference in his life.
If you would like to know more about Rachel House you can visit their Facebook page: Rachel House – Children’s Palliative Care Indonesia or their website http://www.rachel-house.org/