Amadou was Medic, Leader, Pillar of hope for people in his community. He refused to be defined by the benign tumour that had been growing on his face for more than 15 years.
Medicine was a clear path for the 46-year-old, who had been a practicing nurse for over 20 years, fulfilling his desire to help others. Over the years, his own health deteriorated as he developed a pleomorphic tumour in his salivary gland that grew slowly and steadily on the side of his face. But his condition did not stop him from caring for his patients.
Amadou refused to stop treating others because of his own condition. ” That would not be fair to them,” Amadou said. “Instead, I told myself that I should still try my best to help those around me so that God would help me in return.”
Amadou knew that his own local hospital in Guinea, West Africa was not equipped to perform the surgery needed to remove his tumour, so he began to save money in the hopes that he might one day be able to travel to the capital city. He hoped he would find help in removing the mass from his face.
One day, as Amadou sat in his clinic, people from his village came rushing in to tell him some exciting news. The man who spent his days helping others might finally be able to find help for himself on board a hospital ship docked in Conakry, Guinea.
“When I heard about the ship, I was the happiest man,” Amadou said. “I thought, if I get this surgery, I will be a patient ambassador and tell the world about Mercy Ships!”
Amadou made his way to the Africa Mercy and received the surgery he had been hoping for.
Upon return to his village, it became abundantly clear just how much he meant to his community. Hundreds gathered for his arrival. People dancing and singing lined the streets in celebration as his friends and family welcomed back their well-loved doctor.
“I cannot even begin to describe what this community means to me and how much I love them,” Amadou said. “I believe I love them even more than they seem to love me!”
The story of his restoration traveled through his community and soon reached another in need. Soon after Amadou returned home, a 37-year-old woman came into this clinic with a cleft lip. Immediately, Amadou traveled for over a day to bring her to nurses from the Africa Mercy, enabling her to receive the same life-changing surgery that he himself had found two months earlier.
“Whilst at the ship I learned how they take care of their patients,” he said. “I wanted to bring this back to my own clinic.”
While waiting for the woman’s recovery, Amadou used his time to tell patients who were waiting for surgery that everything would be okay — that he was a walking testimony of the safe surgery performed on the ship.
True to his word, Amadou became the ship advocate that he promised he’d be! Since his surgery, he has continued serving his community and using his opportunity for healing to positively impact others, saying simply, “I won’t give up.”