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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Young African lady who had unexpected pregnancy at 18 finally succeeds, sets record as country’s first female surgeon

A young African lady named Praise Matemavi who gave birth at the age of 18 has beaten all odds to achieve her dream of becoming a Surgeon. She also made history at the first-ever female surgeon in Zimbabwe.

Praise is a native of Zimbabwe who got pregnant and gave birth at the age of 18. Her pregnancy resulted in an early marriage, jeopardizing her aspirations and dream of becoming a medical surgeon.

She said that she felt really dissapointed with herself being a pastor’s daughter and disgraced her parents which made her opt for early marriage. Praise stated that she faced and endured physical, mental and emotional abuse through at the marriage.

At the age of 23, Praise went through a divorce while raising her two children who were four and two years old. Despite facing numerous challenges, she held onto her dream of becoming a surgeon and decided to enroll in nursing school.

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“I didn’t know how I was going to ever fulfil my dream. It was sad because that was the one time I saw my dad cry. I got married because I thought that it was the best thing to do,” she said.

Praise said she worked full time as a Cardiac Nurse before she enrolled into Medical School.  She said she did her research on the internet as there were no counsellor or school advisor and found all the medical schools that would accept her without biochemistry or genetics.

She obtained a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Michagan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her general surgery residency at New York Presbyterian Queens Hospital.

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She proceeded to do her Abdominal transplant surgery fellowship at the University of Nebraska Medical Centre in the United States. Praise said fought her way to the top in a male-dominated field despite hearing discouraging comments.

Praise stated that she chose her career as a Transplant Surgeon because she got the inspiration through a book she read in Medical School. She said her faith in God kept her going despite all of the challenges she faced.

“My faith in God and my belief in myself kept me going through the difficult times. Giving up on my dream was never an option. There are times when it was hard to even get out of bed but I kept going. One foot in front of the other, one moment at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time,” she said.

Praise is currently an Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in the United States.

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