Celebrating 100 Surgeries: Sulded's Story

Imagine if a complete stranger locked eyes with you and uttered these words: “bless you again and again and again.”

That’s the overwhelming thanks we hear from Sulded, a mother from rural Ethiopia who is using her own experiences to help other women.

Sulded had a number of complicated births and pregnancies, including a late-term miscarriage and a child that was stillborn. She was left not just with emotional pain, but with a prolapsed uterus that plagued her for nearly a decade.

“It was outside (my body) and very infected,” Sulded said. “I went to the hospital three times, receiving cream and taking care of washing.”

But it never got better. In fact, it got worse.

She didn’t want others talking about her private health concerns, so she didn’t tell a soul. Not even her husband.

“My biggest fear was not being able to be with people. I was hiding myself. I was hopeful,” she said.

Sulded worried what others might be saying about her. She told us that she prayed God would take the horrible condition away.

Finally, she was able to have Dr. Mark Karnes operate to correct the prolapse. And now, Sulded is a lifeline for other women suffering from the same issue.

When we spoke with Sulded she had already sent three women from her community to the Bucama Health Clinic to get help with prolapse.

“They were hiding in the compound. I recognized the signs,” she said. Dr. Mark has been able to help those women using options other than surgery, like the use of a ring that supports the uterus.

Though she understands the intense desire for privacy, Sulded said she wants to spread the word about the options – even a cure – that could save other women from the same misery she experienced.

She wants to pay it forward.

“You helped out problems – may God be with you,” she said at the end of our interview.

Thank you so much, Sulded, for your bravery, your determination, and your compassionate spirit.