As a mother of two young children, ages 3 and 4, the arrival of Mother’s Day has prompted me to pause and reflect on how lucky I am to be a mother and how lucky my children are to have been born in a place where they can get adequate medical care.
Having had a garden variety of pregnancy complications including postpartum hemorrhage, obstructed labor, and pre-eclampsia, I often reflect that were it not for medical interventions considered routine in the U.S. (getting a blood transfusion, having a Caesarean section and getting a medication to prevent seizures), I might not have survived my first labor, not to mention my second.
And then I think about my children. Not only do they have access to a variety of healthy foods and safe drinking water to keep them healthy and well-nourished in the first place, if they did have a bad case of diarrhea or catch pneumonia, it would not likely become a life or death situation – a little hydration, some basic antibiotics, and they’d be back in business. My friend’s child who fell on the playground and broke her leg did not suffer permanent disability – she simply went to the ER and had the break properly set and splinted. A couple months later, you could never tell she was hurt.
We often take this medical care for granted. But in the poorest parts of the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where GECC works, these routine illnesses and injuries can easily turn catastrophic. I’ll never forget the friend who asked me how many children I would have one day, and I surmised probably two or three at the most, to which she replied, “Oh no, you must have at least 4 or 5 in case a couple of them die.” How devastatingly tragic to have that perspective as your reality.
Every mother knows that the worst thing they could imagine is watching your child die. With your help, GECC is preventing many unnecessary deaths by helping create emergency care in places like Uganda. On this Mother’s Day, I’m leaving my wonderful children in their father’s capable care to travel to Uganda to help establish another emergency care training center. While I will miss my children during this short trip, it’s the least I can do if this work could save someone else from losing a child.
On behalf of all mothers, I thank you for your support of this essential work and ask that you consider making a donation in honor of your own mother to help a mother far away who might be in need. Don’t let one more mother suffer this worst of fates – donate today!
Written by: Stacey Chamberlain, GECC Co-Founder and Executive Committee Member