Interview Date: September 4, 2018
Interview Location: Phebe Rehab Center, Bong County, Liberia
Interviewers: Kathy Beth Stavinoha and Kathi Gutierrez
Helena got her fistula when she was 22 years old. When she went into labor, she first saw a midwife.* The midwife pressed on her stomach, put things in her mouth, and did other things to try to deliver the baby. After being in labor for 3 days, Helena was taken to Rennie Hospital in Kakata where they operated on her. However, before they reached the hospital, she developed a fistula.
She is no longer leaking. After 2 years, she had a fistula repair surgery. It took only one surgery to clear up her fistula and now she is dry.
She didn’t like being wet all the time. The hardest thing about having a fistula was that her clothes kept getting dirty; she had lots of laundry.
At the Rehabilitation Center, she chose to study cosmetology for her trade. After graduation, she plans to return to Monrovia to open up a cosmetology shop and to live her life
Helena would tell her friends “they shouldn’t be like me.” She would encourage them to go to the hospital to give birth.
She has gone through 7th grade but couldn’t continue because she has no money. For her future, she wants to focus on school. Then she could do things for her children.
Helena is a fistula survivor. Hear her story in her own voice.