Vanya walked across the dock toward the gangway, holding her mother’s hand tightly, her hair danced in the breeze. Nearby, a large ship sat quietly at the dock. The words AFRICA MERCY were strewn across it, and it watched her with a knowing smile.
She is quiet, sweet, and seemed to be unable to stop smiling. After she finished posing for pictures, one of the Mercy Ships photographers gushed, “She’s so smiley! She’s so cute!”
Vanya is like a gust of wind that leaves little leaves of happiness in her trail. Two of the day-crew declared, “She’s so happy!”
But life hadn’t been easy for this sweet little eleven-year-old girl because of the physical appearance of her legs. With sad eyes, she told her mother that her friends made fun of her. She could not run or participate in the activities enjoyed by other children.
When Vanya’s casts were removed after surgery, she had perfectly straight legs! The physical deformity was swept away, clearing the way for a bright new future.