If You Build It, They Will Come

by Co-Founder Susan Gustafson

 Photo by Ali Mendelson

Photo by Ali Mendelson

Paulina arrived at FAME at 1:30 pm on a Friday, having already been in labor for 14 hours. Nawaso, only 33 weeks pregnant, arrived a few hours later. Having suffered a seizure two days prior, it didn’t take the doctors long to diagnose Nawaso with severe eclampsia and make the decision to perform an immediate C-section. Just as the team was prepping her for surgery, Paulina’s condition began to deteriorate. Still in labor but not progressing, she was wearing out and her baby was showing signs of fetal distress. This would soon be another “first” at FAME, with both Operating Rooms being put to use at the exact same time. Still understaffed, volunteers stepped up to the plate and our Tanzanian team rallied. In OR #1 the FAME team performed an emergency C- section on Nawaso, delivering a 4 pound baby boy. The baby was ventilated and warmed by one of our nurses and then transferred to the incubator where grandmother and father were anxiously awaiting news. In OR #2, a second FAME team was performing another C-section on Paulina, resulting in the birth of a healthy 6 pound baby girl. Soon thereafter, both mothers were recovering in the ward with their newborns, alive today because of the services YOU are enabling FAME Medical to provide.

In addition to these two women and their newborn babies, you are helping our doctors and nurses touch the lives of thousands more. We are thrilled to report that 159 women have delivered their babies at FAME Medical so far this year, and many more were treated for antenatal complications. Your generosity has enabled us to create, train and support our committed team of Tanzanian healthcare providers to provide emergency obstetrical care — a service women desperately need in rural Tanzania.

There have already been 20,433 outpatient visits this year as well and another 867 general hospital admissions. These patients are facing everything from life threatening emergencies to devastating diseases to long neglected common infections robbing them of their quality of life. They are doing so in an environment with extremely limited medical resources. Your giving enables us to provide them with the medical care they need. Join us in making this and more possible in 2016. Please consider making as generous a donation as you can. Regardless of the size, your gift will make a tangible difference in the lives of our patients. It will quite literally save lives and restore hope for a people and community we hold dear.