“Life Changing Moments” is a 501 c3 non-profit organization founded by Urogynecologist Sherry Thomas. Its mission is help women suffering with fistulas and to provide formal urogynecology/ female pelvic post-residency training to physicians in rural areas of third world countries.
CNN covered Dr. Sherry Thomas’ Medical Mission in Uganda, Africa.
Obstetric fistula is a hole in the birth canal caused by prolonged labor without prompt medical intervention. The woman is left with chronic incontinence and, in most cases, a stillborn baby.
Like maternal mortality, a fistula is almost entirely preventable-usually by cesarean section. This nightmare of living with fistulas is virtually unknown in the West because of our advanced medical care. But in Africa, where there is very little prenatal care and no hospitals close by, women who try to deliver their child at home can have serious complications. Their baby can become lodged in the birth canal and the resulting pressure cuts off blood to vital tissues and causes holes in their bowels and/or bladders. At least 2 million women in Africa suffer with the condition.
“I always knew what life was like in a third world country,” says Dr. Thomas, “but I never knew what medical care was like. When I realized how easy it was to fix, I had to help.”
Dr. Thomas produced a movie about the experience called “Life Changing Moments.” The documentary follows both an American and African woman through their experience with fistula. The movie can be seen at the non-profit organizations website Life Changing Moments.