An orphan’s hope

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Victoria never lost hope. Not after her parents died when she was a girl, not after she was forced to start begging in the streets, and not even when she began developing a massive facial tumour when she was only 18 years old. Now, the resilient 23-year-old sat … Read More

Intrepid Kiwi’s journey

A hospital ship in West Africa is a world away from the family farm at Rua Roa under the Ruahine Rangers. A lot of water has passed under the bridge, taking Helen Trainor on the journey of a lifetime – eventually to volunteer her surgical skills aboard the … Read More

She is only 12!

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When Kaltoumi first arrived on the Africa Mercy, she likely had three months, or less, to live. The massive facial tumour she’d carried for over five years threatened to starve or slowly suffocate her. An early death was inevitable for the 12-year-old if there was no immediate medical intervention, … Read More

Julienne finds freedom

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The first time 14-year-old Julienne was called a “witch,” she was too young to grasp what the word meant. But she wasn’t too young to feel the sting of her own relatives’ rejection and to know that her condition made her different … an outcast. Julienne was just … Read More

Love in any language

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These days, Pirongia-born nurse Melanie Allen begins each shift with a two-minute walk to work – down several flights of stairs and into the hospital deck of the world’s largest civilian hospital ship, Africa Mercy. In February Melanie joined the volunteer crew of the 16,000 tonne Mercy Ships … Read More

Aser Roger’s 2nd chance

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Turn right twice, pull yourself over the stone stairwell … avoid children and stray dogs under your feet. Feel along the cement walls until your fingers touch the frayed rope railing. Follow it to the end of the path, turn left. Finally … home. Fifty-nine-year-old Aser Roger was … Read More

Building medical capacity

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In order to build the surgical capacity of the nations we serve – from the grassroots to government – Mercy Ships provides courses, mentoring, infrastructure and donations of equipment in the fields we invest in. The courses include essential surgical skills (pigs trotters and leather stretched over flower … Read More

Out of hiding

Underneath the swirling pattern and bright dye of Djenabou’s scarf was a massive goitre that had been growing for over 18 years. For more than half her life, she’d carried its weight … a weight producing far more than the physical effects of a mass slowly closing her … Read More

A new reason to smile

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Jacqueline’s trauma from a prolonged obstructed labour permanently damaged her body, but miraculously her precious baby survived. That was eight years ago. Since her daughter’s birth,  33-year-old Jacqueline has been incontinent because of the obstetric fistula caused by the ordeal.  Sadly, Jacqueline was abandoned by her husband and shunned by … Read More

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