Mrs. Smile

Mrs. Smile was pregnant with her second child, working, and caring for their 18-month-old daughter when her husband was diagnosed with TB.    It was recommended that her daughter take TB medication to prevent active TB from occurring.  Although at first she was fearful, she educated herself about TB and was able to emotionally support her family. She shared her new knowledge about TB with her extended family so they too could understand TB and not be afraid.  The local health district also provided Mrs. Smile with positive support.  However, Mrs. Smile noticed that some health care workers at other clinics, who were not as familiar with TB, were less compassionate towards her daughter long after she had completed her TB treatment.   

In Mrs. Smile's words...

I took my daughter to the doctor because she had a skin issue. They looked at the history of her health and knew she did TB treatment in the past, even though she never was diagnosed with TB. So they wore masks. I thought, don’t treat her like that, but I didn’t tell them. But I know they just want to take care of themselves, you know, and their job. So it just made me mad a little bit.

I remember back home in Vietnam, in my neighborhood. A father had TB, the whole family knew it, but they didn’t know how to take care of it. They didn’t have health districts or someone to help you with TB. He infected the whole family and the people who lived nearby, they were scared too. If you want to keep it secret, just stay away from people then. But they have the medication here. We are lucky to live in America.

Mrs. Smile, Snohomish County