Grace's story is one that captivated our hearts from the very beginning. At the age of 29, Grace was pregnant and excited to meet her precious child. Tragically, she never got to. Her baby was lost in childbirth, leaving Grace devastated by grief.
Her story doesn't end there.
Following the heartbreak of losing her child, Grace was also left with a complication from childbirth that would affect her for many years to come – a vesicovaginal fistula. A vesicovaginal fistula leaves a hole between the vagina and the bladder, which causes complete urinary incontinence.
Surgery is the only way to repair these issues. While this may be a routine procedure for some, Grace's home country of Uganda simply doesn't have the medical resources and supplies. It can be difficult to find routine care, and even more challenging to have surgeries. That is why Grace lived so many years with this condition – she knew it would be nearly impossible to receive the care she needed.
It wasn't just uncomfortable for Grace to live with her condition. Women of Uganda who live with issues like this are certainly treated differently in their communities.
"Not only had she survived the mind-numbing loss of her child, but the complications during childbirth rendered her incontinent. For 18 years, Grace suffered and lived like a modern-day leper." – Shelley O'Connor.
For years, Grace continued to live in a community that rejected her. Imagine how lonely and utterly helpless that must have felt. She not only lost her innocent child, but then she faced a daily struggle while never knowing if she would ever have the resources to repair it. However, Grace was filled with strength and courage that nobody could deny.
"Grace is the epitome of resilience and courage."-Shelley O'Connor.
Grace pushed forward each day. She never gave up on herself.
While it's impossible to relieve the heartbreak from her loss, we wanted to help her with the physical issues that she was facing. It was our honor to provide the supplies necessary for the surgery that Grace desperately needed.
At the age of 47, Grace was finally able to have her fistula repaired so that she could finally find some physical relief.
"Grace was given her health and her dignity back." Shelley O'Connor.
Our supporters are the reason we get to help wonderful people like Grace. She deserved a chance at a healthy life and reconnecting with her community. Our work may be endless but touching even one life is certainly worth it.