A broken heart

A few weeks ago a medical team from our hospital ship travelled by plane to a remote village in Madagascar called Bekodoka. To get there by land is a seven day journey, but thanks to our partner organization MAF the team was able to travel in one of their planes. They flew in to collect a young lady with a “benign” facial tumour that was growing so large it was in danger of suffocating her. When the team arrived they were devastated to find that the tumour had grown much faster than expected, and had already claimed the girl’s life just a few days earlier. When her family realized that she was deteriorating so quickly there was no time to make the 7 day journey to get medical help.

Even though it’s a sad story, unfortunately it’s one that also repeats itself way too often in developing nations, where families are left to grieve the loss of a loved one because of the lack of basic medical care, and the reason why we are working so hard to improve the access to essential surgery by providing free surgeries whilst helping develop the local healthcare systems. Fortunately there were three other patients that were flown back to the ship and received a free surgery, but we can’t help but think about the others we don’t have enough resources to help. We have to do more!

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