“A miracle” – Shewaye’s story

A lonely childhood

Shewaye is 16 years old. She was born and raised in a small town close to our Yirgalem Fistula Hospital in Southern Ethiopia.

Her father passed away when she was just a child, leaving her mother responsible for caring for the family. The family’s income is fully reliant on the small piece of land that they farm.

Unlike the vast majority of our patients, Shewaye is not a fistula survivor. Rather, at age three, her family discovered she had been born with a rare condition which left her incontinent of urine. Because of this, Shewaye had a difficult and lonely childhood.

Isolated from the rest of the world, she was forced to stay home and never went to school. She never had friends and was not able to play with the other children in her village.

Her isolation caused a lot of distress and Shewaye yearned for a normal childhood. Her loneliness and shame led to deep depression.

Her mother, too, suffered for many years, trying to find solutions for her daughter’s condition. Over the years she took Shewaye to many different health clinics to search for a treatment – to no avail.

As Shewaye grew older, both she and her mother were worried for her future. Shewaye feared that she would never be able to marry and live a happy life.

A future to look forward to

Shewaye’s journey to a happy future began just five months ago, when she was referred from a large public hospital to our Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital for treatment. Although Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia specialises in the treatment of obstetric fistula injuries caused during childbirth, our medical team considered Shewaye to be a special case.

Our team is equipped to treat a variety of related conditions and were thrilled to be able to provide a solution for Shewaye’s incontinence. As with fistula patients, Hamlin staff provided her with the highest quality of care.

At the beginning of June this year, Shewaye finally had the surgery that has transformed her life. She is now completely dry!

Hamlin helps to heal emotional scars too

Shewaye remains in the post-operative ward at our Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital. Over the next few months, she will continue to receive follow up care. Now that she is physically cured, she will receive the emotional support required to overcome the many years of depression she has suffered.

If her beaming smile is anything to go by, it appears that Shewaye’s journey to happiness has already begun.

“It is like a miracle for me and my mother. In the past ten years we lost our big assets in search for solution and now I am dry after three months of motherly care for free. You guys are life givers. Thank you for making me a woman again.” – Shewaye     

Shewaye finally has a future to look forward to. 

You can help more women like Shewaye live their life with hope and dignity. Please consider making a tax deductible donation today. 

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