Freedom From Fistula | obstetric fistula caused by obstructed childbirth

Patient Stories : Mary


37 year old Mary is married with 3 children.  She works as a farmer in Nasanje District in Malawi.

Mary was married at the age of 18. Mary was injured in 2020 and lived with fistula for a year. This was her 3rd pregnancy.  Mary was in labor for 2 days before she went to the hospital.  By the time she reached the hospital and the doctor operated on her it was too late, the baby had already passed away. Mary was discharged and went home.  A few days later she noticed that she was leaking urine. Mary went back to the hospital and was referred to the fistula care centre for treatment, but unfortunately had to wait for a year as the centre was closed due to the covid-19 pandemic.

In April 2021 Mary received a call from the centre inviting her to undergo her fistula operation. Mary was excited to finally receive good news and she was feeling hopeful. Mary is currently (April 2021) at the fistula care centre waiting to undergo her operation. 

Having fistula Mary faced so many challenges and went into a deep depression. Nobody in her village wanted to be near her. She was isolated and wondered if she would ever be a whole woman again.  Although she had her family and husband supporting her she wants her old life back.  Not being able to be around people in her village has really taken its toll.

Once she is cured Mary wants start a vegetable business. She wants to be able to take care for her family and to do all the things she missed, like going to church and attending community gatherings.