Uncategorized

SENEGAL WELCOMES MERCY SHIPS WITH OPEN ARMS

 

A handful of Kiwis were amongst the crew vigorously waving flags from the ship’s deck as the Africa Mercy arrived in Dakar, Senegal for the vessel’s first field service; the former flagship Anastasis served here in 1993. This nation 3/4 the size of New Zealand with 3 times our population. It is one of the most stable democracies in Africa with a long history of peacekeeping, but the population struggles at the lowest end of the UN Human Development Index which measures the quality of life.

 

Senegal borders The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali and Mauritania. Senegalese people are 96% Muslim, and speak French, Wolof and many other dialects (we need lots of translators!)

 

More than 40 New Zealanders will volunteers their skills and expertise in medical, maritime and operational roles in Senegal over the next 10 months, helping to provide essential surgery for the nation’s poor.

 

Mercy Ships is providing free surgeries in Senegal

Why Mercy Ships is in Senegal

The Senegalese people

  • Have 7 physicians per 100,000, compared to NZ’s 285 per 100,000
  • Live in multidimensional poverty at 164/189 in the  UN Human Development Index
  • Lose their children to infant mortality 10x more often than in NZ
  • Have a life expectancy of 60 (M) or 64 (F); 20 years less than Kiwis
  • Typically earn $2,700 per year

 

 

 

Uncategorized

HIS CLEFT PALATE WAS CAUSING THE BABY BOY TO SLOWLY STARVE

 

Paul Pascal arrived as a feather-light bundle cradled in his desperate mother’s arms. His skin was paper-thin, his body tiny. At three months he weighed two kilos – less than a newborn

ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND THANK YOU’s
to God for the restored lives and new future for Paul Pascal and the multiplied thousands who have passed through the hearts and care of the crew on this vessel of mercy in the past 40 years

 

 

Mercy Ships dietitians help Mums of cleft palate babies learn to sucsesfully feed them

 

 

Paul Pascal was born with a cleft lip that disfigured his face and a cleft palate that made it impossible to breastfeed properly. His mother watched helplessly as he grew thinner and weaker. People around her called him a monster.

His mother was scared. ‘We thought he would die.’ But her love knew no bounds as she rocked her tiny, hungry, crying baby through long nights. Then she heard that hope had arrived in port.

As soon as the Africa Mercy medical crew in Cameroon examined Paul Pascal they recognised his condition was critical. They rushed him and his Mum on board before the hospital officially opened to monitor his temperature and feeding.

It was touch-and-go for a few days before the little boy began to turn the corner. Then once he was considered safe to leave the hospital, dieticians checked Paul Pascal regularly to track his growth, measure the size of his head, arms and legs, assess his feeding. They continued to encourage his Mum and suggest methods for her to help Paul Pascal have a healthy weight gain.

 

NUTRITION THEN FREE CLEFT LIP AND PALATE SURGERY SAVED HIS LIFE

cLEFT LIP OR PALATE SURGERY WAS OUT OF REACH OF THE FAMILY

 

Gradually Paul began to change. His gaunt face grew round cheeks. His hair grew thick and healthy, and his listless eyes were now content as he grew stronger.

Only 3 months later and weighing 6.4 kg, Paul Pascal was strong enough to undergo the first surgery to restore his cleft lip. His Mum worked hard to help Paul Pascal gain catch-up weight and reach the normal height to weight ratio.

In another five months, he was the size of an average 11-month-old and strong enough to have his cleft palate restored. The operation connected the muscles of his soft palate and closed the gap in the roof of his mouth, enabling him to eat and speak normally as he grows up.

 

5/7 people in the world have no access to essential surgery
Paul Pascal with his mother ready to head home after his free surgeries.

 

 

 

 

Just a few weeks later in 2018, Paul Pascal’s post-op check saw him tip the scales at over 9 kg! No one would recognise the emaciated baby they had first seen. Paul Pascal’s journey to healing was complete and his future is changed forever.

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

               FELICIA HAD SUFFERED A LIFETIME OF REJECTIONDisease stole Felicia's nose when she was a young woman

 

She arrived at the Mercy Ship Anastasis with a definite air of expectation. For over 50 years Felisia had lived without a nose.

 

ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND THANK YOU’s
Since 1978 Mercy Ships volunteers have joyfully provided 100,000 free surgeries; changing the future people like Felicia living in poverty in developing nations

 

Felicia never dreamed she would get the surgery she needed

 

When she was just a teenager, a painful wound appeared on Felisia’s arm. She credits this as the beginning of her suffering. After three months the wound almost covered her entire arm. Felisia’s parents took her from one traditional healer to the next, and in the following three years spent all their money in the futile quest for help. She says her anguish was perpetrated by the treatment by the Beninese village witchdoctors.

When the wound on her arm seemed to be healing, Felisia felt a similar malaise on her head. Within days her nose throbbed with pain. After four years of suffering, the pain disappeared – along with her nose!

 

 

VOLUNTEER CREW PROVIDE FREE ESSENTIAL SURGERY the future looks so much brighter for Felicia

 

Through a series of operations onboard the Mercy Ship in 2000, volunteer surgeons reconstructed Felisia’s face. A scalping flap was created from her forehead to build her a completely new nose.

After the many weeks of healing, Felisia was thrilled with her restored face. She laughed and danced through the ships’ wards, flirting with the doctors and asking the men to marry her. ‘I never dreamed of this but now I will look beautiful!’ she declared.

When she finally descended the gangway, Felisia held her head high, proudly stepped out and pointed her nose in the direction of home.

 

 

Uncategorized

SEKOUBA HAD NO HOPE OF GETTING THE SURGERY HE REQUIRED

The benign tumour was growing and becoming life-threatening

It was just an ordinary morning when Sekouba first noticed a little button-sized growth in his mouth. He showed his mother who told him not to worry about it, that it would probably go away.

He tried to forget about the rapidly growing lump it but that didn’t make it go away. In just 12 months it was as big as a tennis ball, filling Sekouba’s cheek, significantly impacting young Sekouba’s life.

People taunted him and the tumour drew endless stares. ‘What’s that in your mouth?’ they asked, and curiosity soon turned into scornful laughter.

As Sebouba was mercilessly teased, school became unbearable so he stayed at home..  His friends refused to play and even his brothers were ashamed to be seen with him. Every day Sekouba was painfully aware that he was the only boy his age in the village NOT going to school—and everyday school was the only place he wanted to be.

Thousands of people came to Mercy Ships hoping for help

Hoping to find medical care, Sekouba’s distraught family took him to the largest hospital in their region, but no one who could help. But their cries for a cure were miraculously answered when they heard that the hospital ship was coming to Guinea, West Africa.

On the day he came to Mercy Ships, 12-year-old Sekouba held a faded photograph with frayed edges. It showed was a younger, smiling boy with an unblemished face.

‘This used to be me,’ Sekouba sadly explained.

When the Mercy Ships medical screening team accessed him for surgery,  the future changed; Sekouba was handed an appointment card for a free operation onboard the Africa Mercy to remove the benign tumour that had turned his life upside down.

 

 ‘EVERY TIME I PRAY I THANK GOD FOR THIS SHIP’

 

When Sekouba’s mum saw his restored face she was overwhelmed with joy.

‘Every time I pray, I thank God for this ship,’ she declared. ‘I don’t know what we would have done without it.’

This is just one example of how you can help change the life of a little boy who was facing a very bleak future.

Sekouba was only onboard the ship for month for his surgery and recovery — but in that time, you helped change his life forever. With his tumour gone and his face healed, Sekouba’s future is looking very bright indeed.

 

MT EDEN NURSE PLAYS A KEY ROLE IN FINDING PATIENTS NEEDING SURGERY

Mt Eden nurse Vivien helped Sekpuba access essential surgery

 

The Mercy Ships Screening Team goes mobile to find isolated people. Vivien (left) from Auckland explains there is lots of travelling on bumpy roads and long hours, to reach out-of-the-way, desperate people in West Africa’s interior towns and villages. People lack money and transport for even basic healthcare, which often ends up becoming a much bigger problem if left untreated. Something that would be an inconvenience for us in New Zealand can become life-threatening here.’

Despite the overwhelming need, Vivien has great hope. ‘The longer I am with Mercy Ships, the more I realise what is going on behind the scenes – the people involved in making things work,’ she explained.

Vivien has volunteered three times with Mercy Ships, most recently for a 10-month tour-of-duty during which time she met Sekouba.

Right now there are many more people waiting for essential surgery in our next port.

Can we count on you to help us provide life-changing surgery for more children like Sekouba? Could you find $35, or $75 or perhaps $100 to help provide a life changing operation?

Uncategorized

Houssainatou, maxillofacial patient, before surgery.

Houssainatou lives in a town in the highlands of Guinea with her parents and her four siblings. The ten-year-old would say her childhood has been a happy one: she talks about playing jump rope with her friends, helping to take care of her little brother, and climbing the trees that speckled their neighbourhood.

Houssainatou’s father, Souleymane, has worked hard to protect this childhood free from fear — but his reality has been very different. The facial tumour protruding from Houssainatou’s mouth filled every day with worry that he would have to watch his daughter struggle and die at an early age.

The first sign of her condition came when Houssainatou felt pain in her mouth when she was just a toddler. It eventually became a lump that steadily grew over time.

Her family decided two years ago to keep Houssainatou home from school because of her health. Instead, she would stay home with her mother to help cook and clean the house. They worked hard to ensure their daughter was happy, and didn’t feel defined by her condition, but Souleymane says it was very difficult for them.

‘We’re all worried. We worry all the time,’ he said. ‘We have no money. The village clinic can’t help her. We can’t afford the kind of surgery she needs. We kept praying, and worrying, and looking for help.’

The maize farmer felt he was failing Houssainatou because he was unable to generate the funds needed for her medical care. ‘I can only get enough food to feed my family, but not extra,’ he said. ‘I’d never have the means to take care of surgery for my daughter.’

One day, a relative living in the port city of Conakry told Souleymane about Mercy Ships. He brought his daughter to several rounds of patient selection screenings — and eventually, she was accepted for free surgery onboard the Africa Mercy.

When the time came for them to walk the gangway to the ship, Souleymane called himself the happiest man in the world. Houssainatou’s bravery had never shone brighter — as she explored the place that would be her home for the next two weeks, a volunteer crew member asked her how she felt about her upcoming surgery. ‘I’m not nervous… I’ll be asleep through it all anyway,’ she said.

Houssainatou with her father after surgery

And what a transformation while she ‘slept’! After just one day — and a four-hour surgery — Houssainatou was down in the wards of the Africa Mercy getting ready to see herself in the mirror, tumour-free, for the first time in her young life.

The sight made Souleymane exuberant with joy and gratitude. ‘I cannot believe it. She is so beautiful!’ he exclaimed. ‘I am so happy and so excited to bring her home to see the family.’

After several post-op follow up appointments, Houssainatou was healed — happier and healthier than she’d ever been. As father and daughter got ready to leave the ship and return home to their family, Souleymane reflected on what her surgery has meant to them: ‘My heart is free now. The fear is gone,” he said. ‘I used to spend every day afraid she would die young, but now I will spend my time helping her have a future. I want her to become a doctor so she can help people the way she herself has been helped.’

Written by Rose Talbot

Uncategorized

Ebenezer couldn’t understand the sudden, horrendous pain in his feet that brought him to a halt. He tried to brush away whatever was causing him agony, but the pain spread to his hands. Ebenezer had stumbled into a hidden fire pit.

40 STORIES OF HEALING: Day 18

Sandrine tearfully wrapped Serah’s disfigured feet and could not find the courage to look at them again for three days. Sandrine’s husband had been delighted about his daughter’s birth, but he felt ill when he learned about her club feet. All he could think about was her limited options for the future in Madagascar. She would be ridiculed at school, would be unlikely to find employment and dare not hope to marry. Serah’s Grandmother just cried and cried.

But the midwife explained there was hope for Serah; Mercy Ships was returning to Madagascar in 2016 and could treat her condition. It wouldn’t cost them anything!

When Serah was seven months old they began weekly visits to the Ponseti clinic. Serah grew used to the physio team ‘playing’ with her bent feet – gently stretching and manipulating. After each session, Serah’s feet were held in the newly attained position by a fresh plaster casting.

Serah had six little casts consecutively on both legs before a snip of her Achilles tendons allowed her feet to fully pop into the final, anatomically-correct position. To maintain this ultimate degree of foot flexion she wore miniature foot braces constantly, for three months, then braces at night.

When Serah took her first steps in 2016, she looked just like all her little toddler friends. It’s impossible to tell she was born with a disability.
Serah will never remember living with the burden of bi-lateral club feet, but her Mum will never forget.

Uncategorized

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

…Lorem Ipsum proin gravida nibh vel velit  aliquet.

orem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris

Related Posts

Uncategorized

dolor ipsum
dolor sit amet
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adi pisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisiut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam.

…Lorem Ipsum proin gravida nibh vel velit auctor aliquet lorem quis bibendum auctor, nisi elit

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi.

Related Posts

Uncategorized

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

…Lorem Ipsum proin gravida nibh vel velit  aliquet.

orem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris

Related Posts

Uncategorized

dolor ipsum
dolor sit amet
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adi pisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisiut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam.

…Lorem Ipsum proin gravida nibh vel velit auctor aliquet lorem quis bibendum auctor, nisi elit

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi.

Related Posts