Posts

Hospital

A mother who lived in fear her daughter’s fast-growing tumor would suffocate her is rejoicing after a surgical charity gave her daughter life-saving surgery.  Without a single maxillofacial surgeon in her home country of Sierra Leone, Yei had no one who could treat her daughter.  While she was pregnant, Yei had no ultrasound, and no reason to think her baby would be born anything but healthy. When she first saw the lump on her baby’s face and neck at birth, she felt devastated. 

Finding Light in the Darkness: Umu’s Story

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.

Unleashing the Power of Partnerships to Transform Healthcare in Africa

In the realm of medicine, there are pivotal moments that can forever change lives. For me, that transformative moment occurred two decades ago when my path intersected with medical mission teams in our country, including Mercy Ships, an organisation committed to delivering life-changing surgeries to those who need it most. Witnessing their surgical interventions and the profound impact on people’s lives ignited my passion to become a surgeon.   I realised that the human body’s needs transcend borders and the Gambian people deserved access to quality surgical care.  

Life-changing Healing for Samba

After 56 years with a cleft lip, it took just a two-hour surgery to change Samba’s life and unleash his God-given potential.   Samba, a widower with four children, worked as a cattle farmer in rural Senegal, where he faced discrimination due to his lifelong condition.  He had grown used to his cleft lip drawing unwanted attention. Physical attacks were so commonplace that Samba couldn’t guess how many times they had happened. 

Discover the Changing Tide of Dental Care in Guinea

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. 

The Future Holds Great Promise: Diarra’s Story

For 25-year-old Diarra, stepping into the operating room of the Africa Mercy® was a moment more than a decade in the making. She had been looking for healing for a facial tumor for almost half her life.  “I feel so good inside my heart,” she exclaimed about her opportunity for surgery. “I have been to many different doctors, but they couldn't heal it.”  She couldn’t recall when the tumor began to grow. All she remembers is being a teenager and experiencing a toothache that led to a small growth. From there, “it just kept getting bigger.” Diarra’s parents took her to several hospitals. Each visit was a step in an uphill battle, made harder by their meager earnings as small-scale farmers. Medical costs loomed large, forcing them to choose between caring for their other children or seeking healing for their daughter. Eventually, they stopped looking. 

Woman reunited with the nurse who helped save her life 30 years ago

,
FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE, OCTOBER 1, 2023 – A woman was this week reunited with a nurse who saved her life 30 years ago as she volunteers for the same charity that her rescuers were from.

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

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. 

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.