This is the story of Simegn. Simegn finished high school two years ago. She is 20 years old and lives in a small town in Northern Ethiopia called Amanuel.
Life before her fistula injury
Unlike the majority of women treated at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, Simegn is from a town where she has access to a health clinic and government hospital.
Simegn’s husband works in a government office and they are relatively well off. Within their first year of marriage, Simegn was delighted to learn she was pregnant for the first time.
During her nine months of pregnancy, Simegn visited her local health clinic for repeated check-ups. Following her physician’s advice, she was cleared to attempt a normal delivery and was told to arrive at the clinic as soon as she noticed the first signs of labour.
When the day came, Simegn made her way to the clinic. Her labour was long and it was clear her baby was stuck in her pelvis, facing the wrong direction. After 24 hours of labour, the nurses at the clinic decided to refer Simegn to the Bahir Dar government hospital.
Luckily the transfer to Bahir Dar was swift and Simegn was able to have an emergency forceps delivery. Her gorgeous baby boy survived.
Due to the long obstructed labour, Simegn suffered terrible internal damage and was left with a recto-vaginal fistula – meaning she was incontinent of faeces.
One of the lucky ones
Simegn was referred to our Hamlin Bahir Dar Fistula Hospital. She stayed here for one month, undergoing fistula surgery in just April this year.
A single fistula repair operation cured Simegn of her childbirth injury.
“All the women I met at the centre have lost their babies and develop the injury, only then I come to understand I am the luckiest of all in having my first baby alive. What surprised me most about Hamlin is the unconditional motherly care provided to the patients free of charge. I can be a witness that such holistic care would not be available even in a paid-for hospitals. You gave me back my dignity and my family – God bless you” – Simegn
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