Nicole’s Praise

[:en]“When I gave birth to Dorkas, she was a healthy baby,” recalled Nicole. “But the problems started soon after.” As she watched her firstborn constantly squinting, she became concerned. “I started to wonder what this could be,” she said. Her fears were confirmed and multiplied when, three years later, a new baby named Anna was […]

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Mary’s Story

[:en]Mary had endured years of her classmates’ taunting. “Bag face, bag face, bag face,” they shouted. A tumor covered her right eye, billowing over half her face. It made one side of her face droop down, and, as a result, Mary always looked sad. Day after day, the 14-year-old came home crying, tears trickling out […]

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Tahiry’s Determined Mom

As Tahiry approached his second birthday, Victorine noticed something a bit odd – Tahiry’s legs were taking the shape of the letter “O.” She wasn’t sure what to make of the condition. When it didn’t improve, she brought Tahiry to the local hospital, where doctors explained that his legs could only be straightened through an […]

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A Mother’s Wish Come True

A tragic situation led to six-year-old Elina suffering from third degree burns on the right side of her face, neck and arm. Her mother, Charlotte, came to Mercy Ships to ask for help in restoring her daughter. As a single mother, she could no longer afford to provide the medical care her daughter urgently needed. Mercy […]

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Madagascar’s Musical Mozart

Four-year-old Jean sits quietly outside his home. He takes in the sights and sounds of the village children playing football. He watches as the kids excitedly cheer for the goal that has just been scored. And he yearns for the day that he can take part in the games. Sadly, Jean is never invited to […]

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Haingo’s Journey

Haingo needed intense care to bring her back from the brink. Her cleft palate was the greatest concern; her inability to breastfeed/nurse left her severely malnourished. Her bilateral cleft palate left her face severely disfigured.  Haingo was almost seven months old and weighed a fragile 2.2kg (less than 5 lbs) when she was admitted with […]

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Beautiful Straight Feet

Prinscio was two when he took his first steps, walking on the tops of his twisted feet. Born with bilateral club feet, he developed this curious gait to get around. He was ashamed of the way he moved, and he would declare, “Don’t talk about my feet!” to anyone who stared. In every other way, […]

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Victorien, No Longer Afraid

A boy can cope with a lot of setbacks, but rejection by his friends is a crushing blow. Victorien’s friends called him “Big Chin” and stopped playing with him. Victorien’s problem started when his cheek began to swell. A dentist identified an abnormality in his mouth and said he needed to go to the city […]

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Somaya’s Smile

In early April, just two days before her baby daughter’s appointment to have her cleft lip and palate restored on the Mercy Ship, Neny’s house burned down while she was at work.   Neny and Somaya were safe, but they lost every one of their belongings.  The precious Mercy Ships appointment card was burned, and Neny thought they had lost the chance for Somaya to receive the free surgery she needed. Neny was about to abandon all hope when she heard that the Mercy Ship was returning to Madagascar for a second season of service. In October she took Somaya to another screening near her village, and sure enough they were given another appointment for surgery. It was the second chance for her little girl that Neny had prayed for! Cleft palates are repaired through surgery but the journey for patients does not end with surgery. Weeks of speech therapy take place to teach patients how to adapt to their new palates. Jillian Davis, Africa Mercy’s dietician and infant feeding coordinator explains the importance of speech therapy: “Someone with unrepaired cleft […]

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Cecelia’s Story

For half her life, a hernia had restricted 10-year old Cecelia. She stayed close to home and could not run and climb with the other village children. Her mother Sidonie carried her daughter’s schoolbag and walked her to school every day. Any strain or weight-bearing activity was just too much for the little girl. Then […]

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