Eight-year-old Jordis’ photograph should be next to the word boy in the dictionary. While onboard the Africa Mercy, Jordis and his best buddy, Chadrac, entertained the patients and nurses with an improv dance party – a combination of boys hopping, balloons bouncing, and giggles echoing.
At an upcountry screening in the Republic of Congo, Mercy Ships Screening Coordinator Mirjam Plomp met Jordis and his mother, Viviane. At first glance, the little boy seemed like a typical good-hearted, full-of energy kid. But Mirjam’s experienced eye immediately saw the problem.
Mirjam recalls, “I instantly noticed his massive left foot. It was a very serious case of gigantism, a deformity from birth.” She knew it was something that Mercy Ships could treat, so she handed an appointment card to Jordis and his ecstatic mother and told them when to come to the ship in Pointe Noire.
All it took was a free 45-minute procedure onboard a hospital ship to give the gift of soccer, tree-climbing, heart-pounding races, hilarious pranks, and goofy dances . . . a gift Jordis had been longing for.
“The way my foot used to be, I was not able to run or play soccer. But since you fixed my foot, I can do whatever I want to do!” Jordis declared as he showed off his soccer skills for the camera.
Viviane smiled contentedly as she watched her son be a “ham” for the crew. She knew he had waited so long for this . . . a chance to be a normal boy.