Mother of Mercy Hospital
In the remote Nuba Mountains is a facility that shines as a beacon of hope. Mother of Mercy Hospital in Gidel, Sudan – the only hospital for a 300-mile radius – serves a population of more than a million people, across a territory equal to the size of the country of Austria.
A Sudan Relief Fund sponsored facility, Mother of Mercy reaches marginalized people living in extreme poverty with first-world skilled healthcare they would otherwise never be able to access.
Lack of skilled healthcare is a tragic plight throughout Sudan and South Sudan, and it’s not unusual for desperate patients to traverse great distances, sometimes hundreds of miles, under incredibly difficult conditions to reach the kind of help they can find here.
Missionary doctor Tom Catena directs the hospital, and serves year after year as the only surgeon, seeing up to 500 patients in a single day. He works seven days a week, and is on call every night in case of emergencies.
“Dr. Tom” is a local hero who has helped so many people over the years that he’s known in the area as “the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.” When he visited the region in 2008, his heart was so moved that he couldn’t forget the tremendous need he saw. Shortly after, he helped establish Mother of Mercy Hospital to serve the massive need for healthcare in the Nuba Mountains.
Dr. Tom is characterized by his indomitable spirit and unyielding commitment to help the people he came to serve. When a brutal civil war broke out in Sudan, Dr. Tom determined to stay and help people who needed medical treatment – even when all other humanitarian organizations left due to the severity of the danger involved.
Dr. Tom has endured bombing raids on his hospital and home, bouts of malaria and tuberculosis, and long periods of isolation when effects of the war kept humanitarian aid from being delivered – all because of his dedication to serve in this remote and unreached region of the world.
Thanks to partners and supporters, Mother of Mercy Hospital is equipped with updated operating facilities where the hospital performs over 1,500 surgeries and treats more than 75,000 patients every year.
Mother of Mercy Hospital also offers maternity care – something that is sadly a rarity in this region, where mother/infant mortality in childbirth is among the highest in the world. Mother of Mercy is attacking that statistic. Over 500 women each year experience safe and successful deliveries here thanks to wellness checkups and medically supervised deliveries or C-sections in the maternity ward.
Each year through gifts from our supporters, partnerships, and matching grants, Sudan Relief Fund supplies nearly all the medicines for Dr. Tom to continue his lifesaving work at Mother of Mercy Hospital. Over the years, our donors have also helped facilitate numerous improvements and additions to the hospital.
For his incredible and selfless commitment, Dr. Tom has been the recipient of numerous humanitarian awards, the subject of documentaries, and even had a stamp issued in his honor. But his only mission is to keep serving and saving lives in the Nuba Mountains.
As he said poignantly, “People may say what we’re doing is just a drop in the ocean. But when you’re there, you don’t see a drop in the ocean. You see a person. You see a life.”
Thank you for partnering with us to support Mother of Mercy Hospital and continue saving lives in this desperate and forgotten part of the world.