Patient Stories: Mary
Married at just 15 years old, Mary was pregnant with her fourth child at the age of just 27. When she went into labour she was given a caesarean section and this unfortunately caused her fistula as the doctors were not completely proficient.
After suffering for a year, Mary heard on the radio about the Fistula Care Centre and decided to travel to Lilongwe to receive help. Mary received treatment in October 2015 and since then her life has changed for the better.
Throughout her time with fistula, Mary was menstruating twice a month, being stigmatised and isolated by friends and was alone much of the time. However, since being cured of fistula, she is now able to socialise with friends and be an active part of her community.
Thankfully, Mary’s husband supported her throughout her time with fistula and their relationship continues to be good now that she has healed. Mary hopes that in the future her and her husband can use family planning as she wants to have more children but she wants to make sure they are properly planned and spread out over time so that her body is prepared.
Mary received a Bboxx on leaving the centre, and she has managed to begin a business charging phones. This has helped her buy household items and groceries throughout her recovery period from her fistula surgery. Now she hopes to save a little bit of this money and begin her own business selling donuts and sewing different items such as bags to sell. She hopes she will collect enough money to invest in these small businesses in the next year. In order to do this effectively, Mary joined the village bank and is saving through the banks savings scheme. So far she has made over MK 10,000 with her Bboxx. The light that the Bboxx provides has allowed her and her family to have the evenings to talk and not sit in darkness and she hopes this continues so that they can have a nice family life.
For now, Mary is able to spread awareness of fistula throughout her friendship groups. In December, Mary brought two patients to the centre and in April 2016 she brought 1 patient.
We hope that Mary continues to spread the word and raise awareness and wish her very well in her life free from fistula!
Mary is 30 years old, married with 3 children and lives in Chikulumayembe Village, in the Rumphi District of Malawi