My name is Joy. I am 18 years old, married at 16 and got pregnant at 17. I went into labour and lasted for four days without any kind of help. There is no health centre in our remote village so my mother called for a local midwife to come. She said there was no way to help me as the pelvis was very narrow so the baby would not come.
After four days, I started to travel a long distance to the nearest hospital on a motorcycle. On the journey, I was frightened and decided I didn’t want to go and asked to be taken to my sister’s home. My whole body was in pain and my right leg was numb. This lasted for hours and eventually the baby did not move. During the night the baby was delivered. One woman came to help and found that there was much blood and the baby had already died. I was leaking urine and faeces from my body. Eventually I was taken on a five hours journey to a health facility. I was in so much pain, in the end I passed out. The doctor was able to get an ambulance and they took me to Kivuluni Maternity Centre where the doctors and nurses gave me first aid and blood. I was happy to be alive. I stayed for 2 weeks recovering. Eventually I was well enough to go back home. I was still leaking, when my husband realised this condition he left and went to Kenya and has never returned since.
Lucas called me several months later and asked me to return to Kivulini for a fistula camp. I met with good people who supported me and saved my life. I met other women with the same problem as mine.
Two weeks after surgery Joy feels healthy and comfortable and there is no more leaking. She says “I got hope because everybody encouraged us that we will heal. I thank God and the doctors because without their help I thought I would die. When I go back home I will announce to the whole community that fistula can be treated. Asante sana and may God bless you so much.”
This is a beautiful story of Hope and a life dramatically turned around in the last few weeks here in Kivulini . Thank you to all our donors and supporters for making stories of Joy possible.