Making Motherhood

A Cherished Experience – Not a Deadly One

In the remote Nuba Mountains of Gidel, Sudan, there is only one hospital in a radius of 300 miles. It is Mother of Mercy Hospital, a Sudan Relief Fund supported facility directed by missionary doctor, Tom Catena.

Dr. Tom, as he is known, is the only surgeon at the hospital. He works seven days a week and is always on call for emergencies. Patients come from great distances to find help here. Dr. Tom has served for many years through war time and peace time to provide critical care for the people of Nuba.

Childbirth in Sudan and South Sudan is still incredibly risky for women, with one of the highest mortality rates for mothers and babies in the world. Without access to healthcare, girls commonly give birth on dirt floors in huts and have no medical supervision. But the team at Mother of Mercy Hospital is fighting to change that.

Mother of Mercy Hospital has the only maternity ward in the area, where women with complications of pregnancy can find lifesaving treatment. Every year, 500 mothers and babies survive childbirths that could otherwise have ended in tragedy.

Twenty one year-old Viviana is one of the lucky ones. This young mother lives in Gidel and has access to the services of the hospital’s maternity ward. She learned from her first childbirth that she has a narrow pelvis, which will always make it impossible for her to deliver normally. Without being seen at Mother of Mercy, she would never have been aware of this critical condition.

When Viviana was pregnant with her second child, she came a few weeks early to the hospital and waited, knowing here she could safely bring her child into the world. When the time came for her to go into labor, Viviana welcomed her first son, Kuti, who was delivered successfully through a C-section surgery performed by Dr. Tom.

Because your support makes it possible to perform these lifesaving services, Viviana is the mother of two healthy children. Treatable complications that can turn deadly are no longer a death sentence for mothers and their babies here, because of access to quality healthcare at Mother of Mercy.

Vivana knows this well, and understands the difference it’s made in her life. “We are very grateful for your sacrifice here in Nuba,” she expressed. Your gifts are making the moment of childbirth the joyful occasion it should be – not a deadly one.

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