From trauma to hope – Adina’s story

25 year old Adina was born and raised in a small, rural village in Ethiopia. The oldest of three children, and the only girl, life was difficult for Adina. Their father had passed away when Adina was young, leaving her responsible for supporting her mother and brothers.

Living in a traditional rural community meant that Adina ‘s role was one of housekeeping and caregiving. Adina was known as a hardworking girl, but always dreamt of breaking through the traditional values of her community and gaining a full education.

Adina’s village had no electricity, health facilities or transportation. The closest market town was a two hour walk away, where more facilities were also available. She also had to walk for two hours to reach the nearest school, which she attended on top of her housekeeping responsibilities. Adina loved school and had reached Grade 8.

She would make the journey there and back with friends, but unfortunately one day Adina walked home alone.

The day Adina’s life changed forever…

Adina was 15 years old on the day that she was raped.

Alone on the isolated road, Adina came across a man she vaguely recognized. Her screams for help went unheard. Adina was left lying on the ground, crying. She staggered home, still crying, and told her mother what had happened.

Adina continued going to school as if nothing had happened. But after a few months she felt stomach pains. She and her mother attended the closest clinic, where Adina was told she was pregnant.

Adina attempted to abort the pregnancy, but after another few months realised the attempt had been unsuccessful. Adina felt hopeless, knowing she would have to give birth to a baby she wasn’t ready for.

Tragic consequences

Adina was three days into a long, exhausting labour when it was decided to take her to the clinic. Lying unconscious on a home-made stretcher, the two hour walk to the local clinic was made. Unfortunately, on the journey,  Adina gave birth to a stillborn baby. Only when she woke up did she realise she had lost her baby and was left with horrific internal injuries – an obstetric fistula.

From anguish to dreams for the future

When her injuries had not healed after two weeks, Adina was taken to the closest government hospital. From there she was referred to our Bahir Dar Fistula Hospital. The extent of Adina’s injuries meant that she was then referred to our Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital for treatment.

Adina was terrified of having the operation to repair her fistula. Finally, after much deliberation, she went ahead with the surgery. Her surgery was a success but Adina required multiple follow-up appointments. During this time she stayed at Desta Mender, our farm and training facility for patients requiring ongoing medical care. Here, she received counselling and rehabilitation. She was also able to finish her high school education via long distance schooling.

Hamlin staff recognised Adina’s love of learning and today she works as the librarian at the Hamlin College of Midwives. 

Adina is now happy and living independently. On top of this, she if fulfilling her dream and completing an accounting diploma!

“I won’t be here as a human being without Hamlin, you brought me out from the agony and here I am with full confidence and hope, thank you for everything” Adina.

Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia gave Adina the confidence and hope she needed to fulfill her dreams.

Giver other women like Adina the ability to fulfill their dreams by donating now.

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