Healing LivesWilliams, Sue
In 1962, three years after Drs Catherine and Reg Hamlin arrived in Ethiopia, an illiterate peasant girl sought their aid. Mamitu Gashe was close to death and horrifically injured during childbirth after an arranged marriage - at the age of just fourteen to a man she'd never met - in a remote mountain village.
The Hamlins' Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital saved her and, in return, Mamitu dedicated her life to Catherine's mission. Under the iconic doctor's guidance, Mamitu went from mopping floors and comforting her fellow patients, to becoming one of the most acclaimed fistula surgeons in the world, despite never having had a day's schooling.
This is the moving story of the friendship that saved the lives of over 60,000 of the poorest women on earth. [Taken from book cover, Pan Macmillan Books]
Comments from BDS Reviewers
"You can't read this book without being astonished and moved."
"This is the story of some very dedicated people who chose to make a difference in the world. And what a difference they made!"
"The story is almost too astonishing to be true. An uneducated young woman with a debilitating condition from an undeveloped country is rescued by a pair of young doctors and becomes one of the world's most accomplished fistula surgeons."
"The book is well written, and the life stories of Mamitu and Catherine are interweaved very nicely."
"I enjoyed the Ethiopian cultural information that is relayed in a non-judgemental way. We also learn of the impact the civil war has had on civilians."
"The writing style is easy to read and it's a relatively quick read."
"There is a level of repetition in the book, particularly about Gashe."
'I recommend the book as it covers material not often covered by BDS: Ethiopia, female health, and gender issues."
"I was concerned that the book did not explore the risks of non-medically trained staff undertaking surgery, nor the challenges of getting informed consent from illiterate but very sick women."