The Heart of Nuba
86 min • Society, Health & Science • 2016
Dr. Tom Catena’s patients come to him from hundreds of miles away on foot, in carts, or often cradled in their mother’s arms. Welcome to the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, an area of the world so void of humanitarian and media attention that years of war go ignored, and cries for help go largely unheard. Here, this lone American surgeon tends with equal compassion to patients ranging from malnutrition and leprosy, to grave wounds inflicted by the indiscriminate bombings ordered by their own president, Omar al-Bashir. The only surgeon within 200 miles, ‘Dr. Tom’ does his best to save lives in the midst of carnage and terror, treating as many as 400 patients a day at Mother of Mercy Hospital. Surrounded by a country at war, living under the constant shadow of aerial bombardment, Dr. Tom and his mostly local staff defy Bashir’s ban on humanitarian aid, and work tirelessly to serve the Nuba people.