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Adama, eye patient, seeing her babies for the first time.

Adama’s sight finally flickered out while she was still pregnant with her twins. Cataracts in both her eyes had stolen her sight. She despaired of ever seeing her babies – then hope arrived on her horizon. Watch as Adama sees here babies for the first time here

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When Milo Falsing was a child in Denmark he would travel on an interisland ferry to visit his grandparents. After he learned the Dronning Ingrid was to be decommissioned he wrote a letter to the ferry company asking for one last trip. Recently Captain Milo took the helm of that very ship, renamed Africa Mercy, and here’s the amazing Mercy Ships journey of both man and vessel.

When a ferry became a Mercy Ship from Mercy Ships New Zealand on Vimeo.

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The real Esther from Mercy Ships New Zealand on Vimeo.

VIDEO: Most people didn’t know the real Esther. They only looked as far as her leg. At school, she was teased. In public, she was shamed. Esther’s grandmother searched the country for a solution to rickets—a vitamin deficiency that caused her daughter’s legs to soften and bend incorrectly under pressure. One windswept leg was robbing Esther of the joys of childhood while threatening her future. Time was running out

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Kat Sotolongo’s image of Dr Agebessi was awarded by The Lancet medical journal

Photographs allow powerful stories to unfold through brief moments captured on camera. One photograph taken by Mercy Ships videographer, Kat Sotolongo, illustrated the incredible impact Mercy Ships is having in the world.

The photograph was one of 10 photographs selected as a winner in the Lancet’s annual photography competition. It was published by the Lancet, where Mercy Ships was recognized for its efforts to serve and empower the people of West Africa. The photograph depicts Odry Agbessi, the first female plastic reconstructive surgeon in Benin.

Dr Agbessi’s accomplishment and her drive to succeed amidst difficult circumstances is captured by Sotolongo in the photograph, which represents why Mercy Ships exists.

“Mercy Ships provided training so (Dr Agbessi) could develop her skills. Through our medical capacity building efforts, we help the nations we serve by providing knowledge, tools and resources to deliver healthcare,” Sotolongo said.

As Mercy Ships continues to work in West Africa through surgical training, mentoring and infrastructure improvements, people like Dr Agbessi shine with the potential to make a difference in their world.

Thanks to Sotolongo’s award-winning photograph of Dr Agbessi, a story of courage and strength has unfolded, and people around the world can see the lasting impact Mercy Ships has, long after it departs.

Congratulations Kat!

Watch Dr Agrebessi’s courageous story here

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This remarkable documentary series filmed onboard the Mercy Ship aka The Surgery Ship will transport you into the corridors of the Africa Mercy. The premiere series follows the joys, hearts-breaks and challenges of the Mercy Ships crew and the patients they serve. Watch the trailer now

National Geographic’s The Surgery Ship airs Friday nights from December 1, at 7.30pm on SKY channel 072

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