The HOPE (Hospital Out Patient Extension) Center is the Mercy Ships facility where we care for our patients before and after surgery. This allows the hospital to conduct more life changing surgeries by freeing up bed spaces. The patients and their caregivers stay at the HOPE Center while continuing to receive out-patient care and physical therapy back at the ship.
At the HOPE Center we have Day Crew teams that clean the facility, serve the food, and transport the patients to and from the ship along with many other duties.
One day while the Facilitators and I played Dominoes with the patients, we had a conversation with one of the plastic patients, a young man from Mahajanga.
He told us that he was studying tourism at the university, but because of his long stay at the HOPE Center receiving therapy after surgery, he missed his practicum and final exams. He spoke good English and said that he would love to work for Mercy Ships as Day Crew at the HOPE Center.
We had an open position so we interviewed him and a week later he joined the team. Since he was from Mahajanga, he didn’t have a place to stay but two of the HOPE Center Day Crew graciously offered for him to move in with them.
He not only received hope and healing from his surgery, but he received a new job too. Meet Dominique, once a patient, now serving Mercy Ships and the people of Madagascar.
*After the Africa Mercy departs, Dominique will return to the university to finish his studies.
Story by Martha Rodriguez, HOPE Center Manager