Ulrich’s Incredible Transformation

16 November 2017

The Africa Mercy has been docked in Cameroon for 3 months, in which time our volunteer surgical team has performed over 650 life-changing operations! Thanks to caring donors and volunteers, patients like12-year-old Ulrich’s lives have been truly transformed.

Ulrich arrived on the Africa Mercy with backward facing legs. Despite the daily challenges caused by his condition, Ulrich enjoys school, where his favorite school subject is mathematics. He has 5 siblings and dreams of becoming a journalist because he “likes being able to ask lots of questions”. Sadly, as Ulrich grows older he faces huge challenges in his daily life that could greatly limit his ability to make his dream come true.

Ulrich (Junior), orthopedic patient, before surgery.
Ulrich (Junior), before surgery.

Wanting to give their son the future he deserves, Ulrich’s parents inquired at a local handicap centre about surgery to fix his legs but were told it would cost them thousands of dollars – an impossible expense for the family. All they could do was pray that help would come to their son…then they heard that the Africa Mercy was coming to Cameroon.

When Ulrich was brought to see our screening team, his condition was one of the most severe orthopaedic problems our volunteer nurses had ever seen. Thankfully, volunteer surgeons were confident they could help, and Urlich was admitted to the Africa Mercy.

Ortho patient Ulrich standing without his cruchers at the hope center
Ulrich standing without his crutches at the hope center

Now, Ulrich has had multiple surgeries to fix his legs and is on his way to a full recovery! He is now looking forward to playing football and fetching water for his mother like the other boys do.

“When I would walk in the street people would stare at me. Now they will look at me with a different look. Before they thought I was just a handicapped person and they treated me differently. Now they will look again!”

We can’t wait to see the amazing things still to come during our field service!


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