The Hospital by the River: A Story of Hope

Overview

The Hamlins, both committed Christians, dedicated their lives to women suffering the catastrophic effects of obstructed labor—a problem easily dealt with in the developed world by assisted delivery or caesarean section, but disastrous without medical intervention. The awful injuries that such labor produces are called fistulae, and until the Hamlins began their work in Ethiopia, fistula sufferers were neglected and forgotten—a vast group of women facing a lifetime of incapacity ...
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Overview

The Hamlins, both committed Christians, dedicated their lives to women suffering the catastrophic effects of obstructed labor—a problem easily dealt with in the developed world by assisted delivery or caesarean section, but disastrous without medical intervention. The awful injuries that such labor produces are called fistulae, and until the Hamlins began their work in Ethiopia, fistula sufferers were neglected and forgotten—a vast group of women facing a lifetime of incapacity and degradation.

Catherine and Reg have successfully operated on over 20,000 women, and the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, the hospital they opened in 1975, has become a major teaching institution for surgeons from all over Ethiopia and the developing world. Since Reg’s death, Catherine has continued their work, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. This book is her story. Set against the vivid backdrop of Ethiopia, it is a moving and utterly compelling account of an extraordinary life.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Hamlin and her late husband, Reg, devoted most of their adult lives to practicing obstetrics among Ethiopia's rural poor, where inadequate medical care and bad road conditions made childbirth a risky endeavor. Obstructed labor-frequently lasting five days or longer-resulted in the death of a vast number of babies and caused incontinence in the mothers, who then became outcasts and beggars. In this chronicle of her work in Ethiopia, Hamlin tells of how she and Reg perfected the technique of surgically repairing this damage, operating on more than 25,000 women, most of whom were then able to lead normal lives. Several specialized themes create odd juxtapositions: explicit descriptions of obstructed childbirth, incontinence, and desperate poverty are interspersed with genteel accounts of visits with kings and queens, assorted denizens of high society, Ethiopian brigadiers, and the like. Hamlin sees her service as part of the missionary tradition that her grandparents began, and at the age of 77, she continues to practice by performing surgery, training Ethiopian doctors and midwives, raising money for the hospital she founded, and beginning each morning with prayers and Bible study in her house of mud and sticks. This moving account is recommended for public libraries and specialized collections on women's studies and obstetrics/midwifery.-Noemie Maxwell, King Cty. Lib. Syst., WA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Christianity Today
Rich in detail, full of jarring contrasts (wealth and poverty, for example), and profoundly inspiring, this is missionary memoir at its best. Be warned: You'll be moved to open your heart and your wallet.
— Cindy Crosby
Outreach Magazine
Fascinating memoirs of Dr. Hamlin and her late husband, Dr. Reg Hamlin, who have been saving women's lives in Ethiopia since 1959. Though some medical descriptions are not for the faint at heart, extraordinary stories of the once hopeless "fistula pilgrims" are inspiration for other Christian doctors called to far corners of the world.
— Tamara Rice
Faithful Reader
Almost four decades after her work began, it's understandable why Hamlin has been called 'The new Mother Teresa for our age' by the New York Times, and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. This fascinating account of Dr. Hamlin's work will break your heart — and offer hope that even the worst circumstance can be changed if we care enough to help. Keep the Kleenex handy.
— Cindy Crosby
Christianity Today - Cindy Crosby
"Rich in detail, full of jarring contrasts (wealth and poverty, for example), and profoundly inspiring, this is missionary memoir at its best. Be warned: You'll be moved to open your heart and your wallet."
Outreach Magazine - Tamara Rice
"Fascinating memoirs of Dr. Hamlin and her late husband, Dr. Reg Hamlin, who have been saving women's lives in Ethiopia since 1959. Though some medical descriptions are not for the faint at heart, extraordinary stories of the once hopeless ""fistula pilgrims"" are inspiration for other Christian doctors called to far corners of the world."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781854246738
  • Publisher: Lion UK
  • Publication date: 4/1/2005
  • Pages: 308
  • Sales rank: 424,193
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Catherine Hamlin and her now deceased husband, Reg, began the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia, which has become a major teaching institution for surgeons from all over the developing world. As well as being made a Companion of the Order of Australia, being award the ANZAC Peace Prize and the coveted Gold Medal from the Royal College of Surgeons, Catherine was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012

    A must read

    Amazing and well told story of Ethiopian women who suffer terrible injuries in childbirth and the doctors who were dedicated to find a way to help them.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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