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Healing Lives

Healing Lives

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Click here to watch a video of Dame Quentin Bryce & Sue Williams in conversation on Healing Lives. 

Two incredible women, an unlikely friendship, and a united mission to save the lives of some of the world's poorest and most desperate women. Healing Lives reveals the untold tale of Mamitu Gashe, Dr Catherine Hamlin's protégée, and the inspiring almost 60-year friendship between the two women.

In 1962, three years after doctors Catherine and Reg Hamlin arrived in Ethiopia, an illiterate peasant girl sought their aid. Mamitu Gashe was close to death and horrifically injured during childbirth after an arranged marriage - at the age of just fourteen to a man she'd never met - in a remote mountain village.

Drs Catherine and Reg Hamlin saved her and, in return, Mamitu dedicated her life to their mission. Under the Hamlin's guidance, Mamitu went from mopping floors and comforting her fellow patients, to becoming one of the most acclaimed fistula surgeons in the world, despite never having had a day's schooling.

This is the moving story of the friendship that saved the lives of over 60,000 of the poorest women on earth.

View other books about the Hamlin story, The Hospital by the River and Catherine’s Gift - both amazing stories and inspirational books. Click here to see how book clubs can get involved! View our full range of eco friendly gifts at the Hamlin Fistula Shop. 

Sue Williams is an award-winning journalist, travel writer and best-selling author of 23 books. Previous biographies include Mean Streets, Kind Heart: The Father Chris Riley Story; Father Bob, the larrikin priest; The Last Showman Fred Brophy; No Time For Fear, Paul de Gelder; The Girl Who Climbed Everest, and a number of books about Australian outback characters. Sue, originally from the UK but now living in Australia for 30 years, has also spent much of her life travelling in Africa, and wrote one book based mostly there, Getting There: Journeys of an Accidental Adventurer. She returns regularly.

Materials & Dimensions

2020, Pan Macmillan Australia. ISBN 9781760982034. Paperback, 328 pages

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We ship worldwide using Australia Post. Postage cost is calculated at checkout. Orders are packed with love by our Hamlin volunteers and usually dispatched within three working days.

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Gifts that Give Back

When you purchase from the Hamlin Shop, you are receiving ethical products handmade by fairtrade artisans from a variety of countries across Africa. Your purchase supports local craftspeople and women in Ethiopia who are recovering from preventable childbirth injuries. This is shopping with an impact. Thank you.