To see Dr. Tom Catena, many of his patients travel for days on foot, in carts, or often cradled in their mother’s arms. Welcome to the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, where the government attacks defenseless men, women, and children with supersonic bombers, and it doesn’t make anyone’s newswire.
The only surgeon within 200 miles, ‘Dr. Tom’ refuses to leave and does his best to save lives in the midst of carnage and terror, treating as many as 400 patients a day at Mother of Mercy Hospital. Access to basic medical supplies is extremely limited. The hospital depends entirely on donations to treat the wounded and train the staff.
In 2011, the civil war escalated and conditions at the hospital worsened. In addition to those wounded by the fighting, Tom and his staff faced a particularly severe malaria outbreak. He was told to evacuate, but he simply refused: “As the only doctor in the only hospital in the region I could not leave in good conscience.”
Dr. Tom tends to his patients with equal compassion, in defiance of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, a man wanted by the International Criminal Court for committing crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. Surrounded by a country at war while living under the constant shadow of aerial bombardment, Dr. Tom and his mostly local staff work tirelessly to serve the Nuba people. This population of nearly one million Muslims, Christians, Animists and Africans of traditional belief have lived together harmoniously for centuries. Now, together with Dr. Tom Catena, they struggle to survive.
The money you raise will support the lifesaving work being done every day at Mother of Mercy Hospital.