In news direct from Addis Ababa, we are delighted to announce Mamitu Gashe's return to surgery! Mamitu has been thriving, back in theater. When she is not operating on fistula patients, Mamitu has been spending her time in the wards with patients.
The day after the final candlelit ceremony to farewell Catherine [Hamlin], Tesfaye (Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia's CEO) visits Mamitu at her home.
"What are you going to do now?" he asks her.
"I don't know," she replies. "I am an old woman now. I'm at the age of retirement."
Tesfaye laughs. "Mamitu, can't you do it one more time? Will you come back to the theater and start doing surgery again?"
Mamitu looks stunned. She can't speak.
"Do your grieving now, then take some rest and build up your stamina," Tesfaye tells her. "And then I'm looking forward to seeing you back in the operating theater, where you belong. This is how we should continue this legacy."
Back to surgery? The most brilliant smile slowly spreads over Mamitu's face...
Mamitu was by Catherine’s side for almost 50 years. The story of the deep love between these two extraordinary women who spent decades together, treating women with obstetric fistula injuries and training thousands of fistula surgeons from all over the world has now been told by acclaimed journalist Sue Williams, in the new book 'Healing Lives'. Click here to get yours today.
Catherine planned for her hospitals to continue long after she was gone, and the team at Hamlin have not wavered. This year saw a renewed determination by our extraordinary medical professionals - many of whom, like Mamitu, trained under Catherine - to continue her work.
Over the next few months, we will continue to introduce more key members of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia's Clinical Team. It truly is wonderful to have Mamitu return to surgery and the operating theater.
Click here to read the profiles of other members of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia's Clinical Team.