'Hero of the Year' Award Given to Dedicated Midwife (VIDEO)

mother robinI'm not sure why midwives don't get the respect they deserve here in America. But CNN certainly made an excellent choice when they named "Mother Robin" Lim, a midwife and mother of eight who has dedicated her life to helping women have safe and healthy births, Hero of the Year. The recognition is a great move forward for natural birth, and for Indonesia, where Mother Lim has helped families immensely.

In Indonesia, the average family makes $8 a day. However, a birth can cost $70, and if a c-section is needed, $700 or more. Good medical care for those who really need it is outside the reach of most people, but especially mothers. And in Indonesia, if you give birth and can't pay, your baby can be held until you can pay. They do allow the mother to see and feed her baby twice a day, though some give up and sign their baby over for adoption instead.

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There is an incredibly high rate of maternal deaths during childbirth there, often because even women with serious medical issues can't get help. Not even if they're hemorrhaging after birth. But as tragic as this is, Mother Robin's story of helping mothers shows there is hope. She has dedicated her life to providing free prenatal, birthing, and medical care through her Yayasan Bumi Sehat health clinics.

Ibu Robin (as the locals call her) says this was never something she planned, but after tragedy struck in her own life multiple times in rapid succession, including the loss of her sister and her sister's baby, she decided rather than being angry, she would be part of the solution. She and her husband sold their Hawaii home and moved to Bali, and initially, she offered her services to people in their homes.

In 2003, she was able to open the first of her clinics, where she now is able to employ a doctor, nurses, midwives, housekeepers, and a chef. Now with the $250,000 prize for her official "Hero" status, plus the $50,000 she also receives just for being in the top 10, she'll be able to spread her wings so much further and save so many more lives. During her acceptance speech, Lim said:

Today on our Earth, 981 mothers in the prime of their life will die -- and tomorrow again and yesterday. And I'm asking you to help change that. We don't even know how many babies are lost, but all of us can help change that.

I'm so happy to see someone like this win such an amazing award, and know she will put all that money right back into her passion and save lives. It's an amazing thing she does. Thank you to everyone who voted for such a wonderful, amazing woman. It's great to see truly deserving, selfless people get the recognition they deserve.

Congratulations, Robin.


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