My name is Sambany and I’m from Madagascar. Don’t let the huge tumour on my face frighten you. I’m just a normal guy like your son or your brother or your dad! Although you might find it a little disturbing to read my story, it does have a happy ending and it is one you NEED to hear! So please read on…
For 19 years I lived with the ridicule and rejection that came with having a huge facial tumour. It started out as a small lump on my chin and as I didn’t have the money to get it removed, it just grew and grew. Where I live many people believe that this kind of thing is caused by evil spirits so I was shunned by almost everyone as they were afraid the same spirits would harm them.
Just a few weeks ago a friend told me about a ship that was doing free surgeries in the port city of Tamatave and maybe they could help. Accompanied by my grandson I walked for 3 days to get to a road where we could hitch a ride to Tamatave.
At first the doctors were not sure if they were going to be able to operate. It took them several days to run all the tests and discuss my case. They came and explained to me that if they did the surgery there was a very good chance I would not survive. I told them that a year earlier I had decided I didn’t want to live anymore so the choice was easy for me and so finally they agreed to do the surgery.
It took the team of surgeons 12 hours to remove the 7.46 kilogram tumour from my face and 17 crew members donated their blood to help me survive the surgery. Later they told me it was the biggest tumour they had ever removed from a patients’ face.
I just found it amazing that these people come from all over the world and volunteer their time to help me. The other thing I can’t believe is how nice they are to me. I don’t even mind that I am going to have to spend weeks in the on board hospital recovering from the surgery.
I would also really like to thank all of you who have given money to support Mercy Ships because you have saved my life! There are also many others like me who need your help so if you don’t already give monthly, please consider giving something each month so that Mercy Ships can continue this amazing work!
Blessings from a very, very grateful,