Entries by shawnthompson

Mechanic whose toothache turned into tumor has life-changing surgery through charity Mercy Ships

A 21-year-old man is rejoicing after receiving free surgery from a charity to remove a tumor that had grown to half the size of his face.   

Papa from Western Senegal was just a teenager when he noticed a small lump in his mouth. But despite hospital staff telling him it was just toothache and would heal, it continued to grow, causing him pain and partially blocking his sight. 


Reclaiming Life: Papa’s Story

Papa has a photo of a motorcycle engine on the wall of his bedroom. At just 21 years old, he has already established himself as an exceptional mechanic, dedicating his days to mending and reviving motorbikes. “Fixing bikes has always been a passion for me since I was a child,” he says. 

When a large tumor began growing from the left side of his face, not only did it put his health in jeopardy, but he feared that it would dash his prospects as a professional mechanic. “This work has a lot of physical demands; it is harder to do with a tumor in the way,” he explained. 


A Life-Altering Surgery for Hassan

When a father passes away, a son struggles to remember as much about his dad as he can. Some of Hassan’s final memories of his father involved living with him while contracting the same condition that ultimately took his dad’s life: complications from an abdominal hernia.


The Impact of Timely Dental Care: Ibrahim’s Story

When 13-year-old Ibrahim arrived at the Global Mercy™ in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the left side of his face was tremendously swollen, protruding well beyond the teen’s jawline. He’d developed a simple toothache when he was 9 years old, but left untreated, the problem worsened, and a big part of his jawbone became infected.


An Electrician’s Journey to Finding Purpose and Professional Growth

When Jean Jacques Diouf climbed the gangway of the Africa Mercy® for the first time in his home country of Senegal, he’d packed his suitcase with enough supplies for just one week. He figured he wasn’t going to be on board for long. He’d only come to volunteer because he couldn’t say no to his father, who felt confident Mercy Ships would turn his son’s life around personally and professionally and advised him to just “go and see what happens.”  

Lifetime Achievement Award for tireless efforts and passion for improving healthcare in Africa – Dr. Juliette Tuakli

ACCRA, GHANA, AFRICA: April 26, 2024 – Founder and Medical Director of CHILD Accra, Dr. Juliette M. Tuakli, has been awarded a lifetime achievement award at the 4th Africa Healthcare Awards and Summit (AHAS) for her tireless efforts and passion for improving healthcare and the lives of children and families throughout Africa.  


Ministry of Health confirms Africa Mercy’s® return to Madagascar in 2024

ANTANARIVO, MADAGASCAR, SEPTEMBER 25, 2023 – Recent meetings between the Ministry of Health and Mercy Ships have furthered planning for the hospital ship Africa Mercy® to return to Madagascar in early February. Initially, Mercy Ships plans to dock the 16, 572 GT Africa Mercy in the port of Toamasina. During the field service, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the ship’s medical professionals, and teams will aim to provide more than 1,150 free specialized surgeries as well as targeted training for healthcare professionals.

Mercy Ships has already embarked on the beginning of a 5-year country engagement plan that further strengthens the partnership between Mercy Ships and the people of Madagascar, with the development of local partners, and completion of an initial programmatic assessment.


Meet Emmanuel, the First Patient of the Sierra Leone Field Service

On Tuesday, September 12, Emmanuel was brought into one of the operating rooms of the Global Mercy™, where he became the very first patient to receive surgery during the field service in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

The significance of this moment was not lost on him. Emmanuel, who had just celebrated his 43rd birthday a few days earlier, felt that the timing had turned his birthday month into something extraordinary. “It is a double portion of blessings,” he celebrated.

A tumor on his neck began as a minor concern, a flicker of worry that he hoped would fade away with time.