Emergency Surgery Saves Mother and Baby
“Thank you for saving our lives”
Marsila was excited to find out she was going to become a mother. At 20 years old she was carrying her first child, who would be a baby boy named Almushaki.
While becoming a mother should be an exciting time, it’s also a dangerous prospect for women of South Sudan, where most pregnant women receive no prenatal care. The majority of women still endure childbirth outside of medical facilities, making South Sudan one of the most dangerous places to have a baby, and ranking its mother-infant mortality rate among the highest in the world.
During the early months of her pregnancy, Marsila suffered from a lot of morning sickness and dizziness, and she found it difficult to eat. But eventually those problems disappeared as she progressed in her.
All continued to be well until it was time for Marsila to deliver. Progress was very slow and something seemed wrong. She struggled in labor for two full days, vomiting excessively throughout the process and growing extremely weak. Marsila was taken to a health clinic who referred her to Mother of Mercy Hospital.
Mother of Mercy is the only facility of its kind for hundreds of miles, treating people who come from many hours or days away to find help. Missionary doctor and medical director, Tom Catena, has served for years as the hospital’s only surgeon, committed to helping people who have no access to needed treatment anywhere else.
By the time Marsila arrived, she was nearly unconscious. She was quickly diagnosed with a narrow pelvis that was preventing the baby’s head from crowning. An immediate emergency C-section was ordered to save them both.
Marsila was put on oxygen and ushered into surgery. The operation was successful and her baby boy was delivered by Caesarean section. Due to the extended period of stalled labor that totaled nearly three days, Baby Almushaki was placed on oxygen for several hours, but soon was able to breathe on his own.
Now mother and baby are healthy and safe. Marsila expressed her gratitude for “the people who keep this hospital open and help the needy like me and my baby.” She said, “If it were not for this hospital, we would both be dead now. Thank you for saving our lives.”
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