35,000 Women, So Far

This is Catherine Hamlin MD, who left her home in Australia in 1959 to provide gynecological care to poor women in Ethiopia. At 90, she's still doing that, focusing on one of the most distressing medical/social issues imaginable: obstetric fistulas.

This is an injury that women can suffer if they have no medical assistance at a difficult childbirth. If you don't know about it, that's because it probably doesn't happen where you live. But it happens a lot in Ethiopia, leaving women incontinent and leading to their ostracism from their families and villages.

Hamlin runs the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, where surgeons repair the injuries, midwives are trained in preventing them, and patients are given job training.

Addis Ababa is a place where there's been considerable violence in the half century Hamlin's been working there. Through every incident, she's been at the hospital, staying with her patients and their caregivers, despite the dangers.

Thanks to Catherine Hamlin's dedication, over 35,000 women have gotten their lives back. So far.