When Philomen saw her baby after the surgery, she was speechless. The mass was gone! She alternated between contented smiles and joyful tears as she looked in wonder at her beautiful baby with the white turban of bandages.
Three weeks later, Oceane was ready to go home. A glowing Philomen proudly tied her baby to her back like other African mothers and declared, “God has done something great in my life that has lifted me. I have to thank God and ask Him to bless Mercy Ships.”
Oceane would have died as a baby, but because of YOUR compassion, her life has been forever transformed.
One-year-old Oceane’s pre-op photo mirrored her distress. Tears streamed from her eyes while her little face grimaced in pain. A grotesque mass, larger than her head, hung from the back of her neck.
Oceane had a rare defect in which a small gap in the back of the neck allows fluid to escape and collect in ballooning skin on the back of the head.
Simple things in caring for the baby scared her mother Philomen, who explained,
“When I gave her a bath, I never washed her head. I was scared the tumor would explode, and my baby would die.”
By the time Oceane arrived at the Africa Mercy for her surgery appointment, she was unable to sit up from the weight of the mass. The Mercy Ships medical team carefully studied Oceane’s CT scan.
It would be a high-risk surgery, even with the resources of Western medicine. After weighing the risks and benefits, they decided to proceed.