Loy Tumusiime, fistula program coordinator at our partner organization Uganda Village Project, recalls the first time she met Kaudha. She remembers a woman with a quiet strength, somber and reserved.
Kaudha’s trouble had started about five months before, with the birth of her third child. After hours of labor, she gave birth to a stillborn baby. As if that weren’t painful enough, Kaudha soon realized she was leaking urine uncontrollably.
She felt depressed and isolated, no longer able to attend church or host guests in her home. Her husband, Kiirya, was supportive, but due to her condition they began sleeping in separate beds. Days dragged on.
“I would go to the banana plantation with a mat and sit there alone all day and then at night come home and sleep because I didn’t want to associate with people,” she says. “I even had good clothes and wouldn’t wear them because I feared ruining them. I felt trapped.”
In fall 2015, Kaudha’s story—and her outlook—changed dramatically. Through the efforts of Uganda Village Project, she was screened for fistula and received free surgery.
A few weeks later, Loy paid her a routine follow-up visit at home. “When we reached her village, it took a moment to register that the young, animated woman laughing and waving at us was Kaudha,” Loy says. “She was completely transformed, her somber, reserved demeanor replaced with a charismatic, youthful energy.”
“I am so very happy. I feel like every part of my body is OK now,” Kaudha says. “I can sit anywhere and move around without fear of leaking or smelling or something happening. I go to church, I eat with my friends, I am part of the community again. I feel free.”