There was nothing anyone could do. I was very young – just 15 years old – and the baby was stuck in my young body. By the time my mother took me to the nearest health centre, it was too late. For the third time, I had given birth to a lifeless baby. But my troubles weren’t over.
“My labour went on for three days. I was screaming in agony, just wanting it all to end. “
An intimate injury during the labour, I sustained a fistula injury – a hole was torn between my vagina and my bladder.
Wherever I walked, I felt hot urine running down my legs. This was a very difficult time for me. I’d just lost a child in tragic circumstances and now I felt ashamed. My husband left me and married another woman. In my village, rumours circulated that I wouldn’t survive. All I could do was hide away in my mother’s hut, too afraid to show my face.
Life went on like this for over a year.
Then, one day, a relative visited. She told me about a place that specialised in treating women with this injury: the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital. When I arrived at the hospital – which is supported by Ethiopiaid – surgeons performed a simple operation and cured my incontinence. That short procedure has changed my life completely. I’m part of the community again. Since then, I’ve given birth to a healthy son and set up a small business selling coffee. I have big plans for the future.”