Sunday, March 26, 2017

Mercy Ship Expedition - Three Good Stories: One Nurse's Story

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


  1. Wonderful post. It's amazing to read about ship travel nowadays. Travel has goen so 'aerified'. And Africa is a beautiful place. Loved the photos. Thanks for sharing your friend Marilyn's post, Sharon.

  2. And thanks too for reading. Her experience is truly one of a kind. When I learned she was traveling to Africa a second time, I knew I had to share her emails!

  3. Extraordinary nurse and wonderful stories. Thank you for sharing these.

    1. Thanks, Tamara. I'm so awed by her experience. See you in the a-z!

  4. Hi Sharon and Marilyn - it's wonderful to be able to read ... and to see the help that is being given ... Stephen Tremp wrote about Blindness Cures for his A-Z ... and I linked you to him there ...

    Cheers Hilary

  5. Thanks Hilary. I saw Stephen's post. Some wonderful amazing work is being done today to help the blind. Hope too exists for those facing trouble down the road with their eyes. My husband's has had retinal damage, so this is good news!

  6. Wow, what amazing stories. Thank you for posting them.

    1. Thanks, Kimberly. I know Marilyn really appreciates everyone's comments. I am so proud of the work she and the medical team do.


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You could call me an eternal optimist, but I'm really just a dreamer. l believe in dream fulfillment, because 'sometimes' dreams come true. This is a blog about my journey as a writer and things that inspire and motivate me.