Surgeries are finally up to speed for the Africa Mercy team in Madagascar, which is good news for Marilyn as she nears the end of her service there. She shares stories and photos, including one tumor surgery miracle. A sixteen pound tumor was removed. -----Sharon
(This is a running email post written by a volunteer nurse serving on the Africa Mercy, a hospital ship that travels the African coast).
"Up to Speed at Last"
27 February 2015
Can you imagine what life would be like with a 16 pound tumor hanging off your jaw? A benign tumor is only benign if you are able to get medical attention in a timely manner. Years ago, it
|Sambany before surgery|
|Blood donors for Sambany|
|Sambany after surgery|
I've included before and after photos...and a picture of our local "blood bank." (Yes, we do invest our blood, sweat, and tears into our work around here...) Cataract surgeries are happening, too. Some days are crazy busy, with more bumps in the road than usual. Last Monday was such a day. It was exhausting, but it all became worthwhile the next day when the patches came off. We got some terrific results, and had some very happy patients.
This week's star patient is another relatively young man with diabetes. He came to the screening in Tana, but his blood sugar was way too high for surgery. We sent him away. Undeterred, he got his blood sugar under control, and he and his wife took a bus from Tana to come to one of our local screenings. He was profoundly blind and walked hesitantly, even with his wife on one side and me on the other. The day after surgery, he saw his wife again for the first time in a long time. In one of those funny, poignant moments, he smiled and started to shake her hand.
(Fortunately, it did end up in a hug.) He is returning next week for his second eye--I can't wait to see him in action, walking independently up the gangway and down the stairs. I leave for home in less than four weeks. I am sure going to miss this place! What a blessing it has been for me to be here. --
[Click here to learn more about the nurses and doctors on board the Africa Mercy.]