VIDEO: Vanya’s Transformation

Vanya walked across the dock toward the gangway, holding her mother’s hand tightly, her hair danced in the breeze. Nearby, a large ship sat quietly at the dock. The words AFRICA MERCY were strewn across it, and it watched  her with a knowing smile. It saw her legs, which looked like the wind was trying […]

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A Solution For Marie Sylvie

A large pot of boiling oil. A little girl playing nearby. A tragic combination. Little two-year-old Marie Sylvie fell into the boiling oil. Her frantic, desperate cries alerted her parents, who rushed to her side. Felicie, her mother, was in shock. Angelo, her father, felt heartsick. “I am sad when I look at my daughter […]

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A Mother In Madagascar – Elvie and Noeline’s Story

Elvie is a little girl in our hospital ward who asked her mother, “Where is the sun?” The answer? “It’s on your mother’s face, little girl.” Elvie’s mother, Noeline, received an appointment card from Mercy Ships. Her daughter, Elvie, would receive free healthcare – a minor operation, a series of casts, and braces to correct the […]

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Beauty Amongst the Ashes: Clerette’s Story

Clerette is a survivor. At the age of four, she was struck by a deadly flesh-eating bacteria called noma. The relentless disease largely affects young children. In Clerette’s case, it began as a small abscess in her gum. Within days, a large chunk of her left face was gone. Nearly 90 percent of all children […]

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A New View of Scars: Windy’s Story

[:en] Windy, one of our burn patients, is famous for his mischievous and utterly charming personality . . . and we love him! It’s easy to locate our eleven-year-old namako (the Malagasy word for friend).  Just walk through the ward door and listen for the laughter. It’s a fact of life that Windy is rarely ever at his bed […]

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Spoiled By Love – Rajo Part II

Remember Rajo? He was the little boy with a left clubfoot. He broke his father’s heart with the plea, “Please, Daddy, arrange my feet?” The other day, I saw him toddling around our Mercy Ships dock on perfectly normal feet. He was holding the hand of his dad, Tojo. And Tojo’s grin was as bright […]

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Minette’s First Smile

Minette didn’t feel human. A 4.3 kg (9.5 lb) neurofibroma was robbing her of that right. Surgery aboard the AfricaMercy was Minette’s final hope.  Before Minette’s surgery, the weight of the physical burden she carried left her without reason to smile. But after her 4.3 kg (9.5 lb) neurofibroma was removed, we saw the amazing […]

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What a Difference a Week Makes: Zakael’s Story

Zakael grins from ear to ear. On a very hot summer day in Madagascar, the seven-year-old wears his shirt open, revealing a small surgical scar just above his left collarbone. He wears the scar proudly . . . a symbol of where he has been and where he is going. “I want to be a […]

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Fandresena’s Story

When I met five-year-old Fandresena he couldn’t use his right hand to give me a fist bump – a popular greeting similar in meaning to a high five. Two years earlier the cheeky little boy was caught in a house fire that severely burned his right hand. If Fandresena had lived in the western world, […]

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