Diana Kambalame (Nicole’s daughter, Maria’s sister)

Diana was born on the 28th of May 2012. She was born pre-term at home. The mother walked the same day four hours to Nkhoma hospital were Diana was admitted in the Kangaroo Care room because of her low birth weight. Diana was the fifth born in the family however two of her siblings died soon after birth.
Diana’s mother was suffering from HIV and Tuberculosis. She was receiving treatment from Nkhoma Hospital however her condition was severe and when Diana was 1 year old her mother died. The mother unfortunately infected Diana with Tuberculosis and after the death of her mother Diana was admitted in the hospital with severe Tuberculosis. She received treatment and after a few weeks she was discharged to finish the treatment at home. Diana started living with her aunt now, however her aunt was also suffering from HIV and Tuberculosis and she died a few months later. The family never finished Diana’s treatment at home. Now Diana, her two brothers and two cousins were all under the care of the grandmother. The grandmother however is very poor and was not able to feed all the children. In March 2014 Diana arrived back at Nkhoma hospital. She was admitted with severe Tuberculosis relapse, severe malaria, severe anemia, severe pneumonia and severe malnutrition. Diana’s condition was very critical.
Because of the Tuberculosis relapse Diana had to stay in the hospital for a minimum period of two months. For two months she would receive daily injections to fight the virus. The grandmother however had many other children in the village to take care for too. She had to choose and made the decision to take Diana back home to let her die in the village.
God however had a different plan for Diana and convinced the grandmother to give over the care for Diana to Nicole van Elteren. Nicole assists more than 100 orphans and vulnerable children in Nkhoma area with Lactogen baby milk powder and nutritious foods as Likuni Phala. When there is no one to take care for these children she takes them into her house and cares for them.
Diana started a long journey of recovery with many ups and downs. The malnutrition was so severe that at the age of two years Diana only weighed 6 kg, was 66cm long, not able to crawl or walk. After admission to the hospital she was immediately admitted to the peanut butter and Jesus program. The high calorie peanut paste she received was a major factor in her journey of recovery.
At the moment Diana is 3 years old. She is going to school and is a very active and lovely toddler. She is traumatized because of her past but many people pray for her every day. She knows Gods loves her and we are all sure He has great plans for her!