Friday, October 20, 2017

Africa Mercy - Ready, Set, Go: One Nurse's Story

My friend Marilyn is in Africa serving as a nurse on the Africa Mercy. She emails me and I share her words with you. For those of you who know nothing of  Marilyn's story, the Africa Mercy is a hospital ship that travels the African coast with a crew of nurses and doctors. They come from all over to give of their time as volunteers.

"Ready, Set, Go"

The eye team is almost launched.  The screening group screened over 300
people today.  They screen again tomorrow, and then Friday we expect to
process 60 people through the follow-up exam and schedule them for
surgery, which starts October 2.  By next week, we should be rolling
through the process daily, hopefully with most of the bugs worked out. 

 Now...are the potential patients really out there, and will they come?
 This is a new country for Mercy Ships, and it usually takes a bit of
 time to build reputation and trust.

Since I don't have any patient stories yet, I'll share one I heard over
dinner about a man with a very large facial tumor.  He lives up in the
northern part of the country, speaking a different language from the
common ones around here.  He was approved for surgery by the advance
team...but his tumor started to bleed before the ship was ready to
operate.  We put him in a local hospital here in Duoala (at our expense,
of course) and gave him a transfusion (blood donated by one of our
ship's crew), and got him stabilized.  So, he was one of the very first
surgeries in this country, and he got a good result.  Even before
surgery, he was encouraging other patients who were waiting for surgery.
 After surgery, he found one woman of his language group who was quite
afraid, so he got his own chart to show her the before and after
pictures.  I think we should hire him, especially since his language
group is scarce around here, and we need translators.  Of course, he
might have a family back home...  But wherever he goes, he's likely to
be an advocate for Mercy Ships, helping others to overcome their fear
and distrust.



  1. Again a wonderful read, I really have enjoyed reading your friends' letters.
    Thak you Sharon.


    1. So glad you're enjoying. I love the stories about patients best of all.

  2. How wonderful! A true life adventure, and lovely to hear that the first patient was able to help another. Thanks for sharing your friend's story!

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    1. I find her posts so uplifting. Happy to share!

  3. How interesting! Can't wait to see what other adventures and tidbits she'll have to share.

  4. Sharon,

    Thanks for sharing such an amazingly interesting story. There is a group in Knoxville who does similar work as this medical cruise ship called "Remote Area Medical (RAM)" started by Stan Brock. If you're old enough then you may remember Stan from Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. I'm awed by the service of the medical community to caring for those less fortunate and am glad they do this. May God bless each one! :)

  5. Yes, may God bless all. Great to hear others are doing similar work. The need is so great!


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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.