Baby Mohammed’s mother, Sayene, was made an outcast in her community because of her son’s cleft lip. Despite everyone telling her to ‘destroy her cursed child’, she believed he was a gift from God. She allowed herself to be outcast in order to love him, and prayed that he would receive the healing he needed. But with limited access to healthcare and without support from her community, she struggled to give Mohammed what he needed.
When Sayene heard the Africa Mercy was coming to Guinea, she felt like her prayers had been answered. She knew her son needed more than her love to survive – Mohammed had difficulty getting enough nutrition, as his cleft lip made it difficult for him to feed. When Sayene brought him to the ship, he was undernourished and in serious need of treatment. Thankfully, Mohammed was admitted into the Infant Feeding Program and scheduled for surgery.
Often children with cleft lips or palettes have difficulty getting enough nutrition, unable to get enough milk from their mothers due to their condition. The Infant Feeding Program is where babies like Mohammed are taken to become healthy if they are too undernourished to undergo surgery. Here they are monitored carefully and given the nutrition they need to survive.
Mohammed made up for lost time once he was able to get enough food – by the time he was admitted for surgery, he had already gained a significant amount of weight and was looking healthy and happy. Thanks to the love and compassion of his mother and Mercy Ships partners, Mohammed received free surgery that repaired his cleft lip!
Written By: Andrea Gilbert