Last November, we reported to you on the dramatic events that unfolded in Ntamugenga. A pregnant woman was brought to our hospital when she was shot in the stomach. The mother and her daughter made it through without major harm. Here is what little Rahema looks like today!
Judith was eight months pregnant. She realised the danger when it was too late. She wanted to check on her neighbours, who were barricaded in by assailants wanting to abduct the father of the family for ransom.They did not find him, so they terrorised his wife instead.When Judith went to check on her neighbours, a series from an AK47 fired in a blind frenzy threw her to the ground. One bullet hit her in the chest, the other… in the abdomen.
We work in Congo under extreme conditions, but this land is home to thousands of people, the only place on earth that they know. New rebellions and bandit groups are emerging here like wildfire. Not a day goes by without someone being kidnapped, shot or killed. Innocent people are suffering, often women and children. Thanks to the dedication of the Sisters and staff at the Ntamugenga hospital, tens of thousands of people a year are given a chance to recover or to survive.
At first, the doctors were almost certain that Judith’s baby could not be saved. However, it soon became clear that the bullet had grazed the stomach, but had not touched the unborn baby. An immediate blood transfusion, oxygen and a prompt operation saved both the mother’s and the daughter’s lives. Rehema was born a little prematurely. She was saved by a warm family nest, which we also have thanks to you. This is not how Judith imagined the birth of her first child, but the joy that she is alive and growing so beautifully is the greatest she could imagine.
Thanks to you and the wonderful team from Ntamugenga, many miracles are happening right before our eyes. With your help, there could be even more. Each blood transfusion, in order to save someone’s life, must first be possible to perform. For this to happen, we need to buy blood. In Congo, blood is bought, because although blood donors give it for free, it must be collected, tested several times, transported and stored in appropriate conditions. Blood donation centres are not subsidised, they are sustained by hospitals, which pay for each bag of blood. Prices fluctuate, sometimes putting a dent in our budget, sometimes dropping to USD 20, which is still a big expense, but one to which we have become accustomed.
Today we ask you for at least one such life-giving bag of blood that has already saved Judith and her little treasure, Rehema!