A woman's story.

Meet Evarlyne, a 26-year old mother with a rectovaginal fistula that occurred during a difficult labor. Evarlyne came to the MFH/MUST fistula camp with her mother and her daughter, a strong support system, during this difficult time. Evarlyne opens up to tell us about the daily burdens and the immense psychosocial consequences of living with fistula.

“I was all the time ashamed of being in public,” Evarlyne said. “Because wherever people would be coming, I would move myself and was leaking, or if not, it comes out and everybody sees me.”

A sense of shame with each step you take, with each drop of urine or stool that falls to the ground. A sense of fear of public scrutiny that extends from the home to the community to the workplace. This is what it felt like for Evarlyne to have fistula.

However, Evarlyne’s feelings changed when she talks about her surgery. Her sadness and shame turn into hope as she shares her thoughts for the future. “But now I think if this [surgery] is successful, I will now sit with the people comfortably not thinking all the time that my things are coming out/leaking. I am unable to even express how I am feeling [now].” She shakes her head and clasps her hands in gratitude.

Surgical repair for fistula quite literally allows women to re-enter parts of their lives, to access parts of their lives that fistula had stolen from them. MFH believes there is nothing more fundamental than being able to help restore the basic physical and emotional wellbeings of these women, these mothers, these daughters.