before

meet Victorien

Country: Madagascar, Africa
Age: 11
Surgery: General Surgeries

Back to School from Mercy Ships on Vimeo.

People in the village told Victorien that he needed go to the city to have the tumor looked at by a doctor, but his family lives in an isolated farming village in northern Madagascar and have little resources, so a far-away doctor visit did not seem possible. But after several months, the swelling had grown to the size of two fists and the family knew they had to find a way to get it looked at.

They could wait no longer

Victorien’s family rented out their rice field for money while others in the village pooled their resources to help make the journey to a doctor happen.

Soon Victorien and his mother crowded into a boat with 60 others. With only room to sit, they spent two days at sea in rough weather and Victorien became seasick and afraid. Others on the boat stared at his misshapen face.

When they finally arrived in Toamasina, an Uncle met them and took them to the Mercy Ships dental clinic. Victorien’s swelling was quickly identified as a tumor requiring major surgery.

Victorien_before_surgery

Victorien_post_surgery

Hope for his future

When Victorien’s Mercy Ships surgery date arrived, volunteer surgeons spent several hours removing a tumor the size of two fists. As Victorien recovered in the Mercy Ships wards after his extensive operation, he began to heal from the inside out. “Everyone in the ward is a friend,” he said.

Today a transformed Victorien has made the long journey home, and is already planning for the future. He is anxious to return to his friends and longs to play soccer with them once again. But most important of all, Victorian is no longer afraid of his future. He looks forward to returning to school, and when he grows up he wants to be a math teacher.

Young Hawa African girl smiling after facial surgery

Hawa is blessed

Only a year after the swelling started, the benign tumor in Hawa’s mouth had grown so large that she could barely eat. Their neighbors said she was cursed—but we were blessed to have her aboard the Africa Mercy.