Maman is one of the few patients who can say they’ve been on board multiple Mercy Ships vessels. When she was 46 years old, Maman visited the Anastasis, which was docked in The Gambia in search of healing.
At the time, Maman was suffering from the results of a condition called noma, a bacterial infection she’d contracted as a child that removed the skin on one side of her face. Though she overcame the infection, the tissue and skin on her left cheek and upper lip were gone leaving her face badly scarred.
Thankfully, surgery on board the hospital ship helped heal Maman’s spirit and brought a bright future!
Nearly 20 years later, Maman returned to Mercy Ships once again in search of healing for a new ailment. When she entered the operating room, she met with Dr. Gary Parker, the surgeon who had offered surgery all those years ago.
They recognized each other right away in a reunion that amazed Dr. Parker.
“When I saw Maman again, it was great to see what impact our work here has on people’s lives. Maman has a seat at the table of the human race again,” he said, referencing how Maman’s surgery opened new opportunities to become part of her community, free from shame or judgment.
This beautiful reunion was the start of Maman’s second journey to hope and healing, as she received surgery to repair an issue with her hands and fingers, as well as a follow-up surgery for her face.
During her stay on board, she was thrilled with the care and love she received from Mercy Ships’ healthcare volunteers — but she couldn’t help dreaming about the return to her village.
“Once I am home, my children will be so happy to see me in good health,” she shared. “I cannot wait to dance in my village and walk around to show that God is faithful by bringing the ship back.”
Maman left Mercy Ships with renewed hope — and newfound healing.