Interview Date: September 4, 2018
Interview Location: Phebe Rehab Center, Bong County, Liberia
Interviewers: Kathy Beth Stavinoha and Kathi Gutierrez
Born in Grand Bassa County in 1993, Patience Wheager is the youngest of seven children. She has four sisters and two brothers. Her pa died in the war but her ma is still living. Her husband left her when she got her fistula. She has a six-year-old daughter (born September 21st) who currently lives in Monrovia with Patience’s aunt. After graduation, Patience plans to see her daughter in Monrovia and move to Buchanan.
She got her fistula in 2014. Her labor started on a Wednesday but the baby became stuck half in and half out. Her family took her to the hospital. Because her people are poor, they had no car for their journey; they slept on the road. The baby passed away on Thursday and was taken out at the hospital to prevent injury. After this, she started leaking; she and her clothes were wet. She also developed paralysis in her legs and feet, requiring her to hold a stick to walk. She came to Phebe in 2015.
She has had only one fistula repair surgery. She is not yet dry; she is still leaking. She will return to Phebe after graduation from the Rehab Center for an additional surgery. If she ever gets pregnant again, she needs to deliver in a hospital, as she has stress incontinence.
She would tell her friend to go to the hospital to have her baby so she wouldn’t get a fistula.
Patience chose to learn pastry making for her trade. She can make laughing balls, sugar cookies, corn bread, chocolate cake, pigs in a blanket, and short bread. She will sell her products in the market. “When you can bake something, you can eat and you can get money.”
Patience is a fistula survivor. Hear her story in her own voice.