Mary’s Transformation

8 November 2016
Potential patient Mary with her mother waiting for surgeon screening results.
Mary waiting at the Cotonou screening
Ward Nurse Lizzie Boafo poses with Mary and her mother.
Ward Nurse Lizzie Boafo with Mary and her mother

When Mary first came to the Africa Mercy, she would barely look up. Her neurofibroma – a tumor connected to the nerves outside her brain – had been growing since birth. It flapped over her left eye so she could hardly see out from underneath.

Now 14 years old, Mary’s condition seemed like a never-ending nightmare.  She often came home from school in tears after kids called her “Big Eye” while she tried to study.

MaxFax patient Mary on her follow-up assessment after surgery.
Mary and her mother on her follow-up assessment after surgery

“Will this ever go away?” she would ask, looking to her mother for reassurance. “The day is coming when you will no longer have this,” her mother would respond, having faith that help would one day find her daughter. She was right…

After hearing on the radio that a hospital ship was coming to Benin to do free surgeries for people like her daughter, Mary’s mother brought her to a screening centre in Cotonou.  Their wish came true…Mary was given an appointment card for a free surgery!

Thanks to donors and volunteers, Mary had a successful surgery to remove her neurofibroma on October 14th! She has now recovered and is heading home to live the normal life that every 14-year-old girl deserves.