She is only 12!

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When 12-year-old 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 Kaltoumi if there was no immediate medical intervention, … 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

A reason to smile

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Adorned with beads and colourful fabrics, Fadimatou enjoyed dressing up and ‘acting pretty’ like other girls. But, any glimpse of her smile was quickly wiped away by memories of teasing and ridicule—a reminder of the lies she’d been told too many times, that she isn’t pretty and shouldn’t smile. … Read More

The tiny warrior

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The first sight of three-month-old Paul revealed a feather-light bundle cradled in his desperate mother’s arms. His skin was paper-thin and his body remarkably tiny. He weighed just over two kilograms – less than he had when he was first born. The tiny baby was born with a … Read More

Radio New Zealand interview

LISTEN ONLINE to RNZ’s Nine to Noon interviews nurse Deb Adesanya about the special bond speaking the local dialect gave when interfacing with her patients, and other remarkable aspects of her five-month voluntary service on the Mercy Ship. Listen online     

Finially pain-free

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“I remember one of the worst days,” says Veronique. “I was in so much pain, I could not even get out of bed.” Six years ago a tumour started to grow on Veronique’s chin. What began as a small bump slowly gained momentum until it took over her … Read More

The nurse’s tumour

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“It’s the largest tumour I’ve ever seen,” said the X-ray technician, watching as the massive tumour travelled across the computer screen. It belonged to Sonia, a 34-year old nurse. The growth stretched out from her left cheek and was the size of a human head. Sonia passed through … Read More

The teacher’s burden

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It seemed like a small thing, so Lalao* paid scant attention to the small bump on her face. Instead of disappearing over time as she expected, the swelling on the Malagasy schoolteacher’s face grew and grew. Over 14 years the benign tumour developed until it resembled a huge … Read More

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