Sunday, April 22, 2007

Last week's highlight...

My highlight of the week was definitely on Tuesday. I’ll tell you why…

A 42 year old lady showed up at the centre wondering if we could help her. She was born with a cleft lip. It’s a little unusual for me to see an adult patient (other than our staff); this was an exception. Her defect was obvious so there was not much I needed to do in the sense of examination etc. I had to tell her we would not be able to help her at our centre but that we could schedule her for a surgery on the ship in 2008 when the ship comes to Freetown. I don’t think she really understood what I meant initially so I decided to take out some before and after pictures of a little boy who has had surgery on the ship in the past. When she saw the difference in the pictures a big smile appeared on her face. It was as if she couldn’t believe her eyes. She went on to explain that she has 5 children and some grandchildren and that all of them get teased because of her defect. Very sad to hear and it made the moment even more special to realize what an impact a surgery would have on her life; and to think that she has had to walk around in shame for 42 years. I went on to show her a picture of the Africa Mercy and her eyes got even bigger. She was delighted to show her daughter and grandchild the pictures. Explaining to them that she too would receive surgery and her lip would be healed. She didn’t speak English or Krio but a local language. I had someone translate what she was saying. She said ‘I am so happy I could dance for you.’ Next thing we see is her getting up and doing a little dance of joy for us. Oh to see her face a year or so from now after surgery. It’s a privilege to play a small role in someone’s life!

1 comment:

Bing said...


I love your blog! I really need to go there more often. Thanks for keeping the wonderful memories of Sierra Leone and the Anastasis alive. Your description of showing someone where you grew up, and knowing she's going into retirement really touched me. The views of Lumley beach and what looked like River #2 were awesome!!
Keep up the good work.

Bing and Karen Henderson

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~