Anna Henwood

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Dr Catherine Hamlin’s life and story has played a large role in my own life over the past two decades. Since the moment I picked up the book, ‘The Hospital By the River’ in a bookshop and could not put it down, and then read ‘Catherine’s Story’ and learned more about the Hamlins, I found sharing her story was easy. Dr Catherine is such an inspiring and passionate human, and a selfless giver to so very many people all over the world. Including myself. When I encountered the hardest year of my life in 2010, a time of incredible grief and personal loss, I reached out to thank people who were impacting me. I wrote to Dr Catherine; her contact details were at the back of her second book. I wanted her to know the impact that her life story was having on my own life. I could not quite believe it when Dr Catherine wrote back to me. There were two more exchanges between Adelaide, South Australia and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and I treasure both her letters to me. She encouraged me to continue with music, as the world needs a song of hope. She suggested my brother get an already trained dog instead of a puppy, and that was wise advice that he did not heed! How my heart was encouraged by her words, as my family began walking the unexpected path of grief and loss. She understood and she reached out. I have never forgotten the impact that has had on my life. If I can be one millionth of the human she has been, I can hope to somehow have my own purpose for walking this earth. Heaven has today received a citizen of the highest calibre, a servant of the most humble nature, a woman who reflects the truest kind of humanity. And we are the richer to have had her here for a short time on this earth. And, my word, what a way to live those few years. A century of hope. God bless you and all whose lives you touched, Dr Catherine. I hope you find a way to somehow see my dear brother Jonathan and recognise through him that you touched even my life, a non fistula patient whose heart was breaking. Thank you x

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