before

meet M'Mah Benessa

Country: Guinea
Age: 5
Surgery: Maxillofacial

losing her childhood

“She was so scared,” recalls M’Mah Benessa’s mother. “She says everybody laughs at her.” Because of her tumor, other kids bullied M’Mah Benessa. They avoided playing with her and called her “sick.”

So M’Mah Benessa went into hiding. The little girl refused to go to school. She avoided any contact with friends.

Filled with fear and insecurity, M’Mah Benessa’s childhood was being spent on the sidelines. A facial tumor was blocking a sweet, bright little girl from the rest of the world.

eye saved, joy restored

When M’Mah Benessa’s mother heard about Mercy Ships, she was ecstatic. Her family traveled for hours to get to the Africa Mercy. And they got there just in time.

Soon after arriving, M’Mah Benessa was operated on by Dr. Venter, one of our volunteer plastic surgeons who specializes in neurofibromas—the type of nerve tumor that had plagued M’Mah Benessa’s young life.

“Without treatment, the tumor could invade the eye and we’d have to remove the eye with it,” shared Dr. Venter. Thank God, in M’Mah Benessa’s case, that would not be necessary.
Now, thanks to her growing confidence, M’Mah Benessa is no longer afraid of attending school. In fact, she restarted her education—and life—this year.