February 14th, 2011
From Sharon D’Agostino, Vice President, Worldwide Corporate Contributions and Community Relations, Johnson & Johnson
My heart is different this Valentine’s Day — a day when many celebrate love. It has been touched by individuals transforming the world by caring for girls and women who, for many reasons, feel neglected and unloved.
Writing Valentine notes over the past several days to people I love, my mind followed a path back to the work that my team and I are privileged to do at Johnson & Johnson, work with community-based partners dedicated to saving and improving the lives of women and children.
The path began as I addressed a card to my parents and thought of a story that my aunt had told me several years ago. She said that my mother had been in labor for twenty hours in bringing me into this world. If my mother had been giving birth in a rural village outside Dar es Salaam or Addis Ababa, even today, without someone to finally help reposition her yet unborn child, my mother’s prolonged labor likely would have resulted in an obstetric fistula and her daughter would have died inside her. My mother’s good fortune, and mine, was that a nurse was present through most of her labor.