Close this search box.

Transformed by surgical care

New Zealand nurse volunteers on board Africa's hospital ships

An Auckland nurse has completed her fifth tour of duty with Mercy Ships, and is inspired by the resilience of her patient who come from countries often lacking basic health care.

Maggie, aged 35, had lived her whole life with a severe facial disfiguration, caused by a flesh­ eating disease she contracted as a baby. The Senegal woman has now undergone life­changing facial reconstruction surgery — rebuilding her nose and one side of her face — aboard a Mercy Ships floating hospital. Maggie is one of the patients cared for by Auckland volunteer nurse Julie Murphy in her latest tour of duty for Mercy Ships, in Senegal, West Africa. “I wanted to offer my nursing experience and skills to help people directly. I have seen first-hand how Mercy Ships changes a patient’s life. Life-transforming – and in some case life saving – surgery restores a person’s place in their family,” explains Julie Murphy. “Many have been outcast from their family and community due to cultural beliefs, such as the tumour or sickness is a sign the person is evil or cursed. {Post-operative patients are then able to return to living and contributing in their community.”  
Media Stories

Recent posts

The Impact of Timely Dental Care: Ibrahim’s Story

A simple toothache that went untreated turned into a much larger problem for 13-year-old Ibrahim, who lives in a region of Sierra Leone with no practicing dentists.

Ibrahim contracted a dental infection that, without treatment, spread to his jawbone, causing the side of his face to protrude beyond his jawline.

Read More »

Joining Forces to Build a New Hospital Ship

The MSC Foundation, The MSC Group and Mercy Ships International are joining forces to build a new hospital ship. The new purpose-built hospital ship will expand the impact of Mercy Ships’ life-changing surgeries, anaesthetic care and surgical education for future generations of patients and healthcare professionals in sub-Saharan Africa.

Read More »


Related content

Make a difference in Africa together
Subscribe To E-opportunities

Receive here our monthly volunteer Mercy Ships opportunities email

    Thank you for your registration ! Click on the link in the validation email that has just been sent to you to confirm your registration (note: this email may be hidden in your spam).