Charity

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Charity’s shy, sweet smile greeted the midwives every morning for 12 weeks: second bed on the left. After the normal birth of a beautiful baby boy at Selian Lutheran Hospital in early February, Charity developed a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A DVT is a large blood clot that forms deep in the veins, usually in the leg. If a piece of the clot breaks off and makes its way to the lungs it can kill. Worldwide, DVT occurs in pregnant and postpartum women 0.06% of the time. In places like the US and Europe, a DVT is quickly treated with intravenous blood thinners and careful, frequent monitoring of blood clotting and liver function with expensive blood tests. It’s a bump in the road, but usually not a death sentence. In Tanzania it’s a different story. Charity could not afford either the expensive medications or the blood tests. One laboratory in the city could do the tests reliably, and special equipment and Charity’s blood would need to be ferried back and forth from hospital to lab. Maternity Africa was able to help Charity with the medications, blood tests, and transportation, but Charity helped us too! Living in the postpartum ward for so long, she became the de facto “ward mother,” welcoming and comforting each newcomer. After her treatment we sent her home with her chubby baby boy and a bright future!

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