before

meet Kadiatou

Country: Guinea
Age: 5
Surgery: Orthopedic

Don’t miss the end of year $50K Match

While we are so thankful for all that has been accomplished in 2019, we know that the journey is far from over! Mercy Ships has an opportunity to help even more people in 2020, thanks to a generous donor who has agreed to match tax-deductible, year-end gifts up to $50,000 until December 31st.

With a year-end gift from faithful partners like you, more adults and children can find hope and healing where there once was none — children like Kadiatou.

M’Mahawa was forced to develop a unique way of putting shoes on her 5-year-old daughter, Kadiatou — who suffered from both clubfoot and twisted hands.

The loving mother of five would sit with her fragile daughter on her lap, securing sandals to the little girl’s feet with some makeshift string. Without the complicated knots, the shoes would slip right off the girl’s tiny feet. Neglected from birth and now twisted almost beyond recognition, Kadiatou’s condition made her walk on the bridges of her feet instead of the soles making it painful for her to move on her own.

Without the ability to wear shoes correctly, Kadiatou suffered from the extreme elements found in West Africa — with constant wet feet during the rainy season and cracked and sore skin during the dry season. In addition to the pain that her condition caused, little Kadiatou’s hands and feet have also caused her to fall behind when trying to keep up with her friends.

“She’s as energetic as her brothers and sisters but cannot do as much,” M’Mahawa said. “She cannot walk far without cutting herself.”

Scared her daughter would spend her life trying to catch up, M’Mahawa was thrilled to hear about a hospital ship with volunteers offering life-changing surgeries.

She jumped at the opportunity to visit with the nurses onboard the Africa Mercy to see if Kadiatou was eligible for help.

When her daughter was approved for surgery, M’Mahawa was thrilled that her little girl would finally receive the help she needed.

Now, Kadiatou is able to walk proudly on the soles of her feet, no longer fearful of unnecessary cuts and scrapes or the painful elements.

“I now have peace about her future,” M’Mahawa said. “I believe she will have better opportunities in life now that she is not outcast. She will get an education!”

Still very young, Kadiatou may not fully remember every aspect of her surgery or her reason for being on the ship. But what she will remember, is how to tie the shoelaces on her very own pair of shoes, which can finally fit her feet!

Kadiatou is just one of the many patients whose lives have experienced the miracle of healing. Without the support of our generous corporate partners, faithful donors, and dedicated volunteers, none of this would be possible! We hope you know how much your gifts mean to the children and adults who can now celebrate their restored lives!

Thank you.

GIVE TODAY