Meet Benessa

 

Country | Guinea

Age | 5

Surgery | Maxillofacial

Meet Benessa

Country | Senegal

Age | 5

Surgery | Maxillofacial

Watch Benessa’s journey here!

Watch Benessa’s journey here!

When Benessa was born, her mother had a simple wish for her daughter’s life.

“I want her to be like a diamond — to shine bright,” she said. Unfortunately for most of Benessa’s life, the light inside her was overshadowed by a tumor growing on her face.

When she was just a baby, her parents noticed a small lump growing above her left eye. By the time she was 5 years old, Benessa’s tumor was drooping over her forehead and was beginning to dislocate her eye.

Benessa’s differences led to bullying and name-calling. Other kids would call her “sick” and avoid playing with her because they were afraid of her. As a result, she refused to go to school, even though her parents desperately wanted her to have an education.

“She was so scared… she said everybody would laugh at her,” said Benessa’s mother.

When they heard about Mercy Ships, Benessa’s mother was overjoyed. It was the first time that she’d dared to believe her daughter might receive surgery.

The family traveled for hours to get to the Africa Mercy, but the end goal was worth every arduous mile.

Soon, a volunteer plastic surgeon removed the tumor Benessa had carried for years. In the weeks following her operation, Benessa spent time onboard being showered in love and friendship by the nurses and other patients.

Thanks to friends like you,
Benessa received a life-changing
surgery on the Africa Mercy.

Freed from worry, the sweet 5-year-old slowly emerged from her shell, and her inner diamond began to shine through. Thanks to her growing confidence, Benessa is no longer afraid to start school and will begin her education next year.

 “When we came to the ship for the first time, I was just thanking God over and over,” said Benessa’s mother. “There is no gift greater than good health.”

When Benessa was born, her mother had a simple wish for her daughter’s life.

“I want her to be like a diamond — to shine bright,” she said. Unfortunately for most of Benessa’s life, the light inside her was overshadowed by a tumor growing on her face.

When she was just a baby, her parents noticed a small lump growing above her left eye. By the time she was 5 years old, Benessa’s tumor was drooping over her forehead and was beginning to dislocate her eye.

Benessa’s differences led to bullying and name-calling. Other kids would call her “sick” and avoid playing with her because they were afraid of her. As a result, she refused to go to school, even though her parents desperately wanted her to have an education.

“She was so scared… she said everybody would laugh at her,” said Benessa’s mother.

When they heard about Mercy Ships, Benessa’s mother was overjoyed. It was the first time that she’d dared to believe her daughter might receive surgery.

The family traveled for hours to get to the Africa Mercy, but the end goal was worth every arduous mile.

Soon, a volunteer plastic surgeon removed the tumor Benessa had carried for years. In the weeks following her operation, Benessa spent time onboard being showered in love and friendship by the nurses and other patients.

Thanks to friends like you,
Benessa received a life-changing
surgery on the Africa Mercy.

Freed from worry, the sweet 5-year-old slowly emerged from her shell, and her inner diamond began to shine through. Thanks to her growing confidence, Benessa is no longer afraid to start school and will begin her education next year.

“When we came to the ship for the first time, I was just thanking God over and over,” said Benessa’s mother. “There is no gift greater than good health.”