Samory’s Story:

Samory never imagined that neglecting a toothache would result in a facial tumor that threatened to take away his dreams and quite possibly his life. Four years after his pain began, the once healthy 25-year-old was a shell of his former self — as the tumor grew, his self-esteem began to deflate.

Having grown up in a rural village in Guinea, Samory knew there was little chance he would be able to seek medical attention because of how expensive and rare surgical care was. His mother tried using traditional remedies to help the growing lump but to no avail. Samory’s tumor wasn’t slowing down, and each day became more painful than the last.

“The worst part was knowing that it was only going to get worse because there was nothing we could do,” Samory said. “When I thought of my future, I was scared.”

But Samory didn’t always feel this way. Before he was forced to leave school due to the pain of his tumor, he was studying to become a mathematics teacher. Unfortunately, his friends began to blame his health affliction on his hopes of bettering his life.

“People would mock my mother and tell her it was because she wanted more for me in life — that greed is why I was stuck with this tumor,” Samory said. “I didn’t like to go out with her because of the negative attention it brought her.”

​After the pain became too much to bear, Samory reluctantly made the journey to Conakry to seek help, even though he knew he could not afford it. However, when he reached the city, he heard the good news he so desperately needed — a hospital ship with volunteer medical professionals had arrived in his home country! After being approved for the operation on the Africa Mercy to remove his painful tumor, Samory’s dreams of the future no longer seemed so distant.

The day of his surgery, Samory arrived on the dock, thrilled to be taking his first steps towards replacing his years of suffering, with hope and healing. “It’s amazing to me to think that years’ worth of pain will be taken away in just one day!”

Just one day later, Samory looked in the mirror and finally saw the smile he remembered before his tumor. He was free. Thanks to his courage, ambition, and the gift of safe surgery on the Africa Mercy, Samory’s dreams were rekindled! “I am looking forward to picking up my studies again so I can become a mathematics teacher, just like I wanted to be before the pain began. Life is good once again!”