meet Jean

Country: Madagascar, Africa
Age: 4
Surgery: Orthopedic

a father’s love and worry

Jean’s father, Theodore, is a rice farmer and the cost of surgery to heal his son was more than he made in an entire year. He worried about Jean’s isolation and eventually saved up just enough to buy Jean a small keyboard piano in a local market.

The instrument became Jean’s only solace and he would spend hours making the best music he could. To his parents, Jean’s music was the most beautiful music in the world—but they still had little hope that he would be healed.




embracing hope at last

When the village heard that Mercy Ships was coming, many doubted that such a miracle could be true. But Theodore embraced hope. “If it’s on the national radio, it must be true,” he said.

Theodore made sure Jean was among the first to line up for screening. There, Jean was given a yellow patient card and was approved for surgery. When a team of highly trained orthopedic surgeons arrived on the Africa Mercy, Jean underwent a five-hour procedure to straighten his O-shaped legs.

Six weeks later, his casts were removed and he walked normally for the first time. For three months, he received extensive physical therapy and rehab at the Mercy Ships HOPE Center. The compassion and kindness of the Mercy Ships crew gave Jean a new future. “It has not been easy up until now,” says Theodore,” but we have been shown a lot of kindness here.”

Cyriane can’t stop smiling

As a very small child, Cyriane had one big wish—to wear shoes like her older sister. But it was impossible.

You see, Cyriane was born into poverty in Madagascar with severely clubbed feet that were turned completely inward. Trying to learn to walk was heartbreaking for Cyriane’s mother, Emiliana, who couldn’t afford surgery for her sweet little girl.

“I was sad because all the other children [in our village] have normal feet, but not my daughter,” Emiliana said.