Adama Kargbo ran a cooked food business for 20 years before she developed a malignant facial tumour and became too sick to work. She came to Mercy Ships hoping to be healed, but unfortunately her tumour was inoperable. “When we first saw Adama, she was very depressed, very low,” says Harriet from the palliative care team. “She had spent all of her savings on treatments that hadn’t worked, and she was unable to feed her family.”
Adama attends church regularly, and her faith and the support she has received from the Palliative Care Team have helped her to accept her condition. Her cancer is slow-growing, so after visiting her several times, the team asked whether she felt well enough to work. When she expressed a desire to restart her business, the team helped her to get everything that she needed to set up a food stall in the market. “From then, I’ve never slept hungry again,” says Adama.
Now Adama’s business, which she runs with the help of two of her daughters, is thriving. She has added benches inside her stall, and she has also started a second cooked food business that operates five days a week. Having managed to save a bit of money, she plans to start selling dried goods soon. The earnings from her businesses support ten family members and allow her to pay her grandson’s school fees so that he can continue his education.
“It’s dramatically improved her quality of life,” says Harriet. “She’s able to buy food for her family, and it has also improved her emotional state. She’s brighter, she has a lot more purpose. We’ve noticed a big difference in her.”
When the members of the Palliative Care Team arrive for their weekly visits, Adama always has a hot meal ready for them. “I prepare food for them to show them love because they have showed me love,” she says. “They are my family.”
One day the cancer will claim Adama’s life but in the meantime the palliative care team have been able to help her and the 10 family members that depend on her to greatly improve their quality of life and also prepare financially & emotionally for the day when Adama is no longer with them.