My friend Marilyn is off on another
Mercy Ship adventure in Africa. Those
who followed her story before on the
Africa Mercy know that Marilyn is a
volunteer nurse on a hospital ship that
sails the African coast in search of patients.
She emails me and I share her post with you.
I hope you enjoy!
"Three Good Stories"
March 19, 2017
Two cataract stories to warm your heart:
Kabir: He arrived at the clinic for screening, but he couldn't walk.
Hearts sank, because patients have to walk up the gangway to get onto
the ship for surgery. But, Kabir is resourceful. As you can see from
the picture, he gets around pretty well, using flip-flops on his hands.
He had dense cataracts; he was a good candidate for surgery. And he got
good results; now he can see.
Paola: She is a 20 year old student, but she was completely blind from
cataracts. She was one of our first patients this field service. She
had both cataracts removed, with wonderful results, so she now faces a
bright future with great joy.
We've been doing cataract surgery for 15-20 patients a day. I wish I
knew the deeper story of the impact the surgery has in all of their
lives and families. It would be overwhelming, I'm sure.
Meanwhile, there are other surgeries also happening every day around
here. One life-changing surgery is the repair of fistulas that some
women develop after a difficult delivery. The babies are usually dead
at birth, but on top of that trauma, the woman discovers that she now
leaks urine and/or feces through the vagina. This is a socially
devastating condition, and it lasts a lifetime. Some of the women we
repair have suffered for decades and have seen a dozen doctors and
clinics seeking help, spending who knows how much money, to no avail.
We have a Dress Ceremony to celebrate when these ladies are ready to be
discharged after surgery. We have a beautiful dress made for each of
them, sing and dance, and share their joy as they tell their stories.
Five ladies participated in today's ceremony (not the ones in the pictures,
since there's a delay in getting photos from the communications department
to share, but it's the same scene and similar dresses.) One of today's ladies
had been looking for help for 34 years, another for 17 years, a third had a
dream of being cured on a ship, so she knew to come to us when we arrived.
All were beautiful, joyous, and ready for a new lease on life.
Isn't this a fantastic place?
|(Three ladies with a Mercy nurse)|
|Paola and a Mercy nurse|