Care for pregnant women in the Nuba Mountains is extremely limited. There are a handful of trained midwives and only one hospital providing the full range of care for pregnant women. Mothers are the glue that holds the Nuba society together. Many fathers are soldiers or are looking for work far from home and are not able to be present to the children. And the loss of the mother is a tragedy that is felt for generations.
I just recently was taking care of a patient named Nasrin and her story is a wonderful example of how critical quality medical care is – not only for a mom but for her family as well.
Nasrin is a 26-year-old mother who first was admitted to the hospital in December of 2020 with heavy bleeding early in her pregnancy. We did an ultrasound and it revealed that the placenta was pulling away from the uterus and a large clot had formed inside the womb. The baby was only at 13 weeks (3 months) gestation and the chance for that baby to survive was close to zero. However, Nasrin was determined to have a healthy baby and she waited patiently in the ward through several episodes of severe abdominal pain and bleeding.
When she was almost at term she had an episode of bleeding and we rushed her to the operating room to deliver her baby by C-section.
She safely delivered a healthy baby boy weighing a little over 7 pounds.
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Everything worked out perfectly in this case – it happened that the entire operating room team was present when she started bleeding.
We can only imagine if this had happened when she was in her home village several hours away, by dirt road, from us. It could have taken days to find a vehicle to bring her to the hospital. Very likely, both mother and baby would have died. We thank God we were able to be present to save life. The stark reality here is that without your support as donors, none of this happens and this young another and baby don’t survive.
At Gidel Hospital, a gift of just $260 can provide a life-saving C-section for a mom like Nasrin. And your monthly partnership helps provide consistent, sustainable care for patients in desperate need.
On a personal note, one of my favorite memories of my mom is Thursday nights. My mother received her Master’s degree back in the early 1950s and she was able to get her dream job – being a mother to 7 kids! We’re an Italian American family so of course our lives and memories revolve around good food. I remember every Thursday coming home from school and finding two huge vats of spaghetti sauce cooking on the stove. They were filled with meatballs and braciole and I would take big chunks of her homemade bread and start dipping it in the sauce and eating. What I would do now to be back in that kitchen!
And it has also been so wonderful to watch Nasima be a mom to our son Francis over the last year since we brought him home. Culturally motherhood is extremely important in Nuba. So it was very difficult for Nasima to accept that we could not conceive our own child. It is now so wonderful to see how much she loves Francis and enjoys teaching him many different things. She’s such a good mother and loves that boy more than anything. I am truly blessed to have Nasima and Francis.
As we approach Mother’s Day on May 9th, will you give a special gift or become a monthly partner to help me provide compassionate medical care for mothers in Nuba?
Thank you for supporting me and believing in this life-saving work,