Miracle baby’s mum also healed

After 3 days of obstructed labour they expected that her baby was dead. Seeing how much pain she was in her husband, bother and mother-in-law set off with her at dawn on the 4th day to make the 12 hour journey by canoe and minibus to the nearest hospital. After 10 hours of travel in excruciating pain Fanjakely finally passed out and slept for the remaining 2 hours.

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At the hospital the doctors extracted her baby and when she finally woke she was given the news. The first was good news; somehow her baby had miraculously survived and she was now the proud mother of a beautiful baby boy named Antonio, her dream had come true. But when she tried to get up to go to the toilet she noticed urine running down her leg, and she couldn’t stop it.

The doctor explained to her that because of the days of constant pressure of the baby on her bladder a hole (or fistula) had developed that allowed the urine to leak out unchecked. After 4 days of agony, then the euphoria of finding out her baby was alive and well, this news was like an arrow that pierced her heart. The doctor tried to console her by explaining that a surgery could be performed to close the hole, but for Fanjakely that was no comfort because she knew they could never afford to pay for the surgery.

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Without money to buy sanitary products the urine leaked out onto her clothing which caused most people to shun her. The few friends that did not abandon her caused her more pain with their jokes about her smell and how she had “broken” her bladder. She spent most of her time hidden away at home. There were 2 small rays of sunshine in her life; the first was her baby boy Antonio who had miraculously survived the four days of labour. The other was her husband who still hugged her every day, told her how much he loved her, and encouraged her by saying that one day she would have that surgery.

Photo Credit Justine Forrest, VVF Dress Ceremony preparations

Eighteen months later his words came true! Accompanied by her husband she made the four hour trip to where the hospital ship Africa Mercy was docked and where she would finally receive a free surgery to repair the fistula. One of the nurses that cared for her said that before the surgery she didn’t see Fanjakely smile even once, but after the surgery she didn’t stop smiling. In her mind she had finally found her much needed second miracle!