When she was only six months old, Assiatou was left with severe burns after a car accident. Due to the lack of affordable medical care, these burns eventually formed into thick scar tissue. Her left ankle was tightly contracted which left her unable to walk properly. Despite growing up without the mobility to flex her foot, Assiatou learned to adapt by stepping on her heel instead. This limited mobility enabled her to walk to school to pursue her education, but also made traveling exhausting and painful.
For more than three years, Hounsigbo lived in total darkness, cataracts clouding her vision in both eyes.
Before, Hounsigbo had been busily working in her village in Togo, going every day to the forest to cut trees and weave mats out of their branches, selling them to earn a living. But … Continue reading
Aicha was the first child for her newlywed parents — a joyous start to their family! But, when Aicha’s mother became sick shortly after giving birth, their joyful celebration was put on hold. Three months later, Aicha’s mother passed away, leaving behind a devastated husband and newborn baby. Following her mother’s death, baby Aicha was taken in by her Grandmother, Mymoona.
“That was a very dark time for us,” Mymoona said. “My son was grieving the loss of his wife, and we had to try and take care of Aicha.”
Without her mother’s milk, Mymoona did the best she could … Continue reading
She first came to the Africa Mercy in a peach-colored dress, a thin veil waving around her face and flapping against her swollen cheek. Her dress whipped around her frail legs as she climbed the gangway, her ascent slow and labored. That day, no one had any idea what 23-year-old Mabouba had been through for the last six years, nor how close her brush with death was yet to be.
As 2021 draws to a close, we look both behind and ahead with immense gratitude. This year was filled with many unexpected obstacles and difficult decisions. It was a challenging time for many of us around the world — but we faced each of those challenges together. On behalf of all of us here at Mercy Ships — our staff, our volunteers, and our patients — thank you for your support every step of the way.