Blog

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In the often male-dominated field of medicine, Professor Fanjandrainy Rasoaherinomejanahary is part of a legacy of female healers. “I am the daughter of a nurse,” said the Malagasy surgeon and professor of visceral surgery, who goes by Prof. Fanja. As a young girl, Prof. Fanja had a unique vantage point in the field of medicine, observing as her mother worked in a surgical ward. As she watched her mother help patients on their way to healing, a dream began to grow in Prof. Fanja’s heart.

The Boy with the Strong Spirit: Serigne’s Story

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In a village in northwest Senegal, the name Serigne holds great significance. It resonates with leadership and authority. Many people and establishments proudly bear this distinguished name throughout the village, symbolizing a belief in their potential for greatness. This means that 6-year-old Serigne is in good company. His father, Abdou, says he deliberately chose the name because he foresaw a future of influence for his son.

Opportunity Made to Last: One Surgeon Mentee’s Story

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In the spring of 2023, seven mentee surgeons boarded the Global Mercy™ while the hospital ship was docked in the west African nation of Senegal. Dr. Alida Ngandjio Sidi, a pediatric surgeon originally from Cameroon, came on board with confidence. She knew this was where she needed to be.

Mercy Ships Celebrates Lasting Impact in 2023

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Mercy Ships provided 3,295 surgeries for patients like Malang in 2023. Of those surgeries, 1,437 took place on board the Global Mercy™ during field services in two ports – Freetown and Dakar. The ship served patients from three countries – Senegal, The Gambia, and Sierra Leone. This work was only possible thanks to more than 1,318 skilled volunteers from over 67 countries, including 660+ Senegalese, Gambian, and Sierra Leonean national crewmembers.

From Crewmember to Caregiver: Ngordy’s Mercy Ships Story

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Ngordy Sow was working as a national interpreter with Mercy Ships in his home country of Senegal when he received his next assignment. He was asked to care for a new patient, a young boy named Mamadou, who was on board the Africa Mercy® to receive surgery for a painful hernia. When Ngordy arrived in the ward to start his shift, he was in for a surprise.

Finding Light in the Darkness: Umu’s Story

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Have you ever met someone whose eyes dance when they talk? That’s the very first thing everyone notices when they encounter 3-year-old Umu. Her aunt, Fatmata, has always been amazed by Umu's effortless ability to make friends, regardless of where she goes. “She’s a very brave girl,” Fatmata shared. “She's intelligent. She’s a fast learner.” But although this contagious joy is Umu’s trademark now, it wasn’t always this way. Her birth came with an unexpected twist as she entered the world with a benign tumor growing from the side of her face and neck. This was a shock to her mother, Yei, who’d had no reason to expect anything other than a healthy baby girl. Seeing her firstborn with the growth was utterly devastating.

Discover the Changing Tide of Dental Care in Guinea

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In October 2022, five dental students from Guinea boarded a plane to Casablanca, Morocco. The following year, they were joined by another. These young dentists form the pilot group of Mercy Ships’ dental education sponsorship program – a new program focused not just on providing care in the here and now but changing surgical systems for good. 

Face-to-Face after Decades: Catherine and Aly Reunite on the Global Mercy™

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The last time Catherine Conteh saw the deeply familiar smile in front of her in Freetown, it was under dramatically different circumstances.  Fresh off the plane from Australia on Sunday, Catherine arrived on the dock beside the Global Mercy™ where she was greeted by Aly Hogarth-Hall – a face she had not seen in person for 30 years. Without Aly, the last 30 years – as well as the life of her daughter and her grandson – might not have even been possible. 

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

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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.

Passing on the Healing: Hawa’s Story of Life-Saving Surgery

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There was much excitement on board the Global Mercy™ recently as a young woman named Hawa climbed up the gangway.  Hawa, an aspiring nurse from Sierra Leone, had never set foot on this brand-new hospital ship. But she has walked this swaying path over the water before.  Hawa boarded the first Mercy Ship, the Anastasis, as a small child, when a tumor was slowly encroaching on her ability to eat and breathe. It was there that her life was saved, and a new dream was born. This year, Hawa’s journey to hope and healing came full circle as she reunited with Mercy Ships once more.