At age 90, surgeon still doing God's work in Ethiopia

At age 90, surgeon Catherine Hamlin performs miracles on a daily basis. And she plans to keep doing God's work in Africa for as long as she can. Rachel Marie Stone at Religion News Service writes:

Catherine Hamlin just turned ninety. She’s just been nominated for a Nobel prize. And she performed surgery yesterday.

Her faith has kept her going in a foreign land for many years, caring for what most people would consider “the least of these”: women suffering from obstetric fistula.

Fistula once affected women all over the world, but vanished with the advent of modern obstetrics. It occurs when a labor is obstructed — when the baby gets stuck in the vagina — and, without intervention, the prolonged constriction and pressure causes vaginal tissue to decay. Sometimes nerve damage occurs as well.

Women with fistula constantly leak urine or feces, and sometimes both. If they’ve suffered nerve damage, they may have trouble walking. In places where people barely have enough water for basic use, this means that they’re unable to keep clean. Often their husbands and families shun them. They often become depressed — and even suicidal.

Read more. I learned about Hamlin's work when the 2008 documentary "A Walk to Beautiful," aired recently on PBS. Learn how you can help support the work of Hamlin and other doctors who do this work at the Fistula Foundation:

Comments (2)

I saw her about 8 years ago on Oprah and it really made an impression. I am glad she and her work continue. I just wish that obstetric fistulas had become a very bad memory of a barbaric practice. Dr. Hamlin is, in my opinion, one of the saints we have among us to serve as examples of what one person -- even two people -- can do to try to make the world a better place.

I saw her about 8 years ago on Oprah and it really made an impression. I am glad she and her work continue. I just wish that obstetric fistulas had become a very bad memory of a barbaric practice. Dr. Hamlin is, in my opinion, one of the saints we have among us to serve as examples of what one person -- even two people -- can do to try to make the world a better place.

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