Joyce is a 24 year old lady who did all the right things during her labour, got her regular antenatal checks and then went to a hospital for her delivery. However, she stayed in labour at the hospital far too long and eventually was taken for a caesarean section. The baby was slow to recover but eventually revived, but Joyce was not. Five days after her operation she was found in the hospital by a midwife friend of Maternity Africa – she was severely ill, unresponsive, huge swollen abdomen, pale, with low blood pressure and high heart rate. The midwife got her discharged from that hospital and she brought her to Maternity Africa. She was operated on immediately by MA staff and was found to have a life threatening condition called necrotising fasciitis. All the lining of her abdomen had died, the strong tissue of her abdominal wall had died and 6 litres of thick black putrid fluid was drained. We operated and removed all the dead tissue and remarkably, she recovered, slowly. Her baby however got worse and had to be sent to a neonatal intensive care unit for antibiotics and specialist care.
Joyce remained stable for about a week, she was even starting to walk but then she suddenly declined and her kidneys completely shut down and she didn’t pass any urine for 2 days. Again, she was unresponsive and close to death. We arranged for her to get dialysis, which fortunately had just become available in Arusha, without it she would definitely have died. After about 3 days of dialysis her kidneys started to work again and she was transferred back to Selian. Remarkably, she fully recovered and now is at home with her child. A truly miraculous outcome! Even in the best hospitals in the world around one third of people with this condition die. There were many people praying for her around the world and their prayers were answered