Haingo’s story

Meet Haingo, from Madagascar

Haingo’s cleft lip was obvious, but it was a tiny, unseen hole in the roof of her mouth that was preventing the 7-month-old girl from breastfeeding. And threatening her life.

Her mother, Viviaby, did everything she could to try and feed her baby, but she knew Haingo desperately needed surgery to repair her mouth. When a stranger told Viviaby about Mercy Ships’ free surgeries, the courageous mother carried her baby for two days just to find transportation to the ship.

Your compassion … Continue reading

M-S 100,000th free surgical procedure

7-month-old patient receives cleft lip surgery onboard world’s largest nonprofit hospital ship

CONAKRY, Guinea (21 May 2019) — A baby born with a debilitating cleft lip in Guinea has received free surgery from international Mercy Ships volunteers, marking the nonprofit’s 100,000th surgical procedure onboard its charity hospital ships.

Aissata (EYE-sat-ah), a 7-month-old child, traveled with her mother approximately 350 kilometers to receive the surgery on the hospital ship the Africa Mercy, which has provided free surgeries to more than 2,100 people in Guinea since arriving in August.

For Mercy Ships, the milestone represents an important point in the nonprofit’s … Continue reading

Esther’s story

Meet Esther, from Cameroon

Esther was a beautiful, healthy baby, who delighted everyone.

But she was born into poverty. Because of this, she didn’t get enough of the right nutrients during the first 18 months of her life. So, she developed rickets, a vitamin deficiency that caused her legs to soften and bend incorrectly under pressure.

Esther’s mother, Mabel, tried to find a way to fix her vibrant little girl’s twisted leg. She was told that nothing could be done and that it was too late.

As … Continue reading

Meet Cecilia, from Cameroon

Cecilia’s legs appeared fine when she was born, but as she grew, one knee twisted inward. This knock-knee made walking difficult and painful. But the pain never brought this sunny little girl down.

“She smiles all of the time,” says her father, Emmanuel, “but she needs help to walk.”

Each year her knee grew worse. Cecilia needed help. So, her family prayed for a way to get her surgery that could straighten her leg.

Then they learned about Mercy Ships.

An answered prayer

Emmanuel brought his little girl to our hospital ship. He hoped that when they returned home, Cecilia’s … Continue reading

Meet Elina, from Madagascar.

Our volunteer nurse, Ria, found Elina, a six-year-old little girl, hidden in between the bushes near our hospital ship and could hardly believe what she was seeing. While she was gently trying to get this little girl to come out, she saw the infected wounds she had and got to know her heartbreaking story.

A long journey to recovery:

For Elina to properly recover, her wounds had to be cleaned and she would need numerous surgeries, including skin grafts, physical therapy and a long rehabilitation. All these factors made it so that her case was something Mercy Ships usually is … Continue reading