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See How This HIV+ Mom-Of-2 Grabbed Life In The Face Of Death

“You only have 6 months to live” , she was told.

When Lyn Parent from Auckland went with her younger sister to get a tattoo in 1992, she had no idea it would change the course of her life forever.

The now 57-year-old mom-of-2 had decided to get a tattoo albeit impulsively just to give her younger sister more confidence in getting one, too. Through that act of ‘amazon’, she contracted HIV and was told she only had 6 months to live after the diagnosis, Dailymail reports.

Lyn and her sister

More than 25 years later, Lyn is still living and has developed a more refreshing attitude towards death and life – in that she seizes every day as it comes.

According to Lyn, her decision to get a butterfly tattoo on her bikini line wasn’t one she had weighed up hugely before that fateful day in July:

READ ALSO: HIV+ Mom-Of-2, Phenny Awiti Recounts How She Discovered Her Status And What Happened After Is Heart-Breaking

”The supermodels all had tattoos, they were super fashionable and I made a split-second decision that changed my life,” she told FEMAIL.

”I remember noticing that a guy before me had had a tattoo and the artist hadn’t changed the needles. But I didn’t think anything of it. We didn’t in those days, I wasn’t worried. In fact, I told my sister I would go first as I was the eldest. He changed the needle after he inked me.”

When Lyn returned to Corsica in France, where she was working as a tour guide at the time, she didn’t give her new butterfly tattoo much thought. Not until roughly 8 weeks later when Lyn developed major flu-like symptoms:

”I had a yellow face, I couldn’t eat and I needed to sleep nearly all the time,” she explained.

”I knew I needed to go to the doctor, and when they told me my temperature was extremely high, I returned home where specialists ran lots of tests to see whether I had malaria.”

READ ALSO: How Beautiful Mom-Of-1, Brenda Motsumi Got Infected With HIV And The Good She Claims Is In It For Her

Some days later, however, Lyn’s doctors still had no prognosis.

”I was sleeping for 22 hours a day, so my mother said I had to go back to the hospital,” she recalled.

”The specialist said that they had to test me for everything under the sun – including HIV. She told me she’d be back with my results the next day.”

In October 1992, Lyn accounts further:

”I remember her body language and knowing it was going to be bad. When she told me I had HIV and that I had six months to live, so I needed to get my bucket list out, I heard nothing except the fact that I had six months left. I was in shock. I had no idea why.”

Eventually, after doctors ran tests on the 3 ex boyfriends Lyn had had since she was 20, one of the 57-year-old’s specialists pinpointed that her HIV had come from the tattoo.

”I remember being shocked,” she said. ”I had no idea that was possible.”

Lyn later boarded a plane to see friends and family in Australia, with the intentions of saying goodbye. It was around this time that she met her ex partner on the airplane and fell in love.

”I wanted to live each day like it was my last,” she explained. ”We moved to Rotorua, enjoyed a stress-free life – and after a year when I was still here, I relaxed a little.”

READ ALSO: Married and Living With HIV/AIDS: Nigerian Women Share Their Sad Stories

Lyn now has 2 children- Francois and Amira, who are both totally healthy. Since she was diagnosed, she has worked tirelessly to educate people about HIV/AIDS.

”I’ve started the fashion event StyleAid to raise money for women and children with HIV. Anyone can get HIV and AIDS and it’s important that precautions are taken. I think the testing should be compulsory, like smear tests.”

Lyn has also set up LiveAid Australasia  – which sees bands perform in Auckland, alongside a free testing place for all to use.

”The stigma is really bad, but there are so many women with HIV,” she said.

To this day, Lyn takes tablets to stay healthy and keep her HIV at bay.

”I have no regrets, it is what it is. Plus, I think about the good things. Had I not been diagnosed, I wouldn’t have done all these things with my life. I share my story with schools and I have an opportunity to spread the word.

Had this not all happened, my life probably wouldn’t have gone this way. It’s taught me to grab life as it comes and live in the now rather than ten years down the track.

I don’t have a fear of death like I used to. I’ve made peace with myself and I think it’s made me even more positive as a person. It’s part of who I am.”

Picture credit: Supplied

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