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For Pros (1966-1994)


Pros (26 September 1966 – 29 January 1994)

Within a couple of months of my diagnosis I was offered a room in a shared house for HIV+ women; At the time I was living on my cousin's sofa so I jumped at the chance to have a room of my own even though I had no idea who I would be living with.

My housemate turned out to be a Ugandan woman by the name of Pros, and in the two years we lived together we became ‘sisters’. Our lives couldn't have been more diverse and yet we were brought together through this shared diagnosis.

She was one of the most beautiful women I had ever met with the most wonderful smile that lit up a room. She was a very private woman, hence I have not used her full name in this tribute but what little she told me of her life in Uganda was enough to know that she had been through a very traumatic experience prior to seeking asylum in the UK in the 1980s.

I have lots of special memories with her but the one that always makes me smile is the night when we sat watching a football game together on her big double bed. It was Liverpool vs Southampton (my second team) and although she never understood my love of the 'beautiful game' she got just as excited as me that night and we were giving each other high-fives when the goals went in.

I'll never be able to forget those hours sat at her bedside in the old Westminster hospital. Trekking to her ward every night after work, never knowing if she's made it through the day. Then sitting listening to her quiet voice spilling out dementia-induced words of fear and pain as the MAI took hold. 

Although she did recover from that episode, she was never 100% well again and within another 12 months her health deteriorated to the point where she had to be moved into a hospice. I never got to say goodbye, I postponed my evening visit as I was just too tired from a demanding week at work and when I called the next morning to check it was okay to visit I was told the news that she'd passed on. Knowing Pros, that's the way she would have wanted it.

A proud, dignified, beautiful woman whose memory still brings tears to my eyes.

 Bravo to you gemini20! I am a girl from malawi and i read about uganda alot, which is really sad, let  your friend rest in peace and happeniss be with you! stay blessed


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