Finding fortune in restored health

20-year-old Rene, who worked for a family high in the mountains of Madagascar had to stop working in the fields when it became too painful. “Something was growing,” Rene recalls. “I was worried. When I was working I could feel something pushing. It felt like my eye would pop out, so I would stop working and rest. When I rested the pressure would stop. When I started again the pressure would begin again. “

René before surgery

René before surgery

Unable to continue farming, the family, Rene lived with, had him work inside. He asked for help, with his condition, but they were unable to provide him with anything. Things seemed hopeless until a friend heard about Mercy Ships on TV.

Although his home was more than a 2-day journey from the ship, a screening team came to a nearby village. Accompanied by his friend he went to the screening and he was approved for free surgery! So Rene made his way from his home high in the mountains to the coast.

It was on the ship that doctors informed him that he had a tumor filling his sinuses. This condition is usually easily fixed, but left untreated can cause larger problems, like Rene’s.

René after surgery

After the surgery on board

Luckily his surgery was a great success! Rene explained excitedly “My surgery went really well. The tumor won’t grow back anymore. I am really, really, really happy that the disease that was bothering my life is gone forever. I have a new face.”

Not only has the surgery restored Rene’s health, but he is now able to go back to work. Rene has big plans to start over independently and become a share cropper. He will work for his own money and eventually buy his own plot of land, where he can provide for himself. The great gift of health has allowed Rene to seek his fortune in more ways than one!