Forty-four year old nurse, Fanta, was too afraid to get surgery to remove the tumour that had been growing for the past 10 years. What started out as a small growth on her arm turned into a large mass that hanged from her arm.
Since she was a young girl, Fanta would see nurses at her local hospital in their blue uniforms taking care of people and knew she wanted to be a nurse too. But her tumour meant she couldn’t fit her arm through the sleeve. Fanta learned to hide her tumour beneath strategically draped shawls so she didn’t scare her own patients, but as her fear grew, so did her tumour.
When Fanta heard that Mercy Ships was coming to Guinea, she knew this may be her only chance to be rid of her tumour – and her fear. She travelled to the ship and hoped she would be brave and strong enough to find healing.
Though Fanta was accepted for surgery, she didn’t know if she would be brave enough. But when she met the volunteer nurses on the Africa Mercy she knew deep down she would be okay in their hands: “When they told me everything would be okay, something in me trusted them.”
When she finally came out of surgery she promised she’d be dancing down the gangway due to her new found happiness:
“I am so thrilled I can barely believe it…my arm is so light. As soon as I can I am going to wear tiny strappy tops to show off my new arm!”
It only took 3 hours of surgery onboard the Africa Mercy for Fanta to realize just how much her fear had held her back for the past 10 years. Her lighter arm and brighter face made Fanta question why she had waited so long. “I can now lift my arms with ease!”
Thanks to her own bravery and dedicated Mercy Ships partners, Fanta can finally wear her scrubs with pride. She will now go back to helping others the way those onboard the Africa Mercy helped her.
Written By: Andrea Gilbert