How fistula surgery changes lives

Today I am sharing the story of one of IOWD’s former patients, Alexia. To jumpstart my fundraising effort this year, I am raffling off one of the shopping bags that Alexia makes. For each $25 you donate, you will get one entry into a drawing for the bag. I will announce the winner the day before I leave. Donate now by clicking here.

When Alexia was ready to deliver her child, she went to her local health center. During the delivery, the doctor made a cut in the birth canal (an episiotomy) to help deliver the baby. She discovered a few days later that she was leaking feces. She returned to the health
center and she was re-stitched, however her wound broke open and she began leaking again.

Her husband left her and then not soon after, her sister passed away. So, Alexia was left with her own child and her sister’s two children to look after.

Alexia came to Kibagabaga Hospital in Kigali in February of 2016, hoping IOWD could help her. Dr. Star Hampton operated on Alexia successfully and she left the hospital two days later, no longer leaking feces.

Alexia became an advocate for IOWD – she has been interviewed on Rwandan radio and walked in the first fistula march in 2017. She also returns to the hospital for every IOWD mission and talks to the patients, letting them know how much she was helped. She credits IOWD and Dr. Star for giving her a new life.

Barbara Margolies, the Director of IOWD, discovered that Alexia could sew. In 2017, IOWD purchased a sewing machine for Alexia, along with fabric and sewing supplies. Alexia took everything on the bus with her to her village. She is now able to support her family on her own through her sewing.