Your compassionate support has helped make MercyShips history!
For 40 years, generous supporters like you have helped bring hope and healing and we celebrate a milestone that you are a part of — the 100,000th surgical procedure!
LINDALE, Texas (May 21) — A baby born with a debilitating cleft lip in Guinea has received free surgery from international Mercy Ships volunteers, marking the nonprofit’s 100,000th surgical procedure1)One patient can receive multiple surgical procedures, including in these areas: maxillofacial, plastic reconstructive, women’s health, pediatric orthopedic, ophthalmic and general surgeries. onboard its charity hospital ships.
Aissata (EYE-sat-ah), a 7-month-old child, travelled with her mother nearly 200 miles to receive the surgery on the hospital ship the Africa Mercy, which has provided free surgeries to more than 2,100 people in Guinea since arriving in August.
For Mercy Ships, the milestone represents an important point in the nonprofit’s 40-year legacy. For Aissata, the free surgery changed the trajectory of her life.
Above Image: Hassanatou holding Aissata after her surgery on the Africa Mercy.
Their family is among the world’s estimated 5 billion people who do not have access to safe, affordable, timely surgery. In sub-Saharan Africa specifically, 93 percent of the population can’t get the surgery it needs.2)Lancet Commission on Global Surgery
Mercy Ships addresses this global surgery crisis within Africa by sending hospital ships staffed by volunteers to the places where surgeons are needed most. These surgeons also train local medical professionals who will stay in their home countries, effecting change long after Mercy Ships departs. Mercy Ships has touched more than 2.7 million lives since 1978.
Dr. Phil Freeman, a maxillofacial surgeon from Texas, is one of nearly 400 volunteers currently serving onboard the hospital ship. Dr. Freeman has been dedicated to transforming lives for the world’s forgotten poor, and he helped lead the operation for Aissata.
Aissata is fortunate to have had her cleft lip repaired as an infant. In the developed world, the condition typically is treated in infancy. But in places with limited access to surgery, many children simply cannot get treatment. The condition can lead to malnutrition if infants are unable to nurse, and it can lead to social exclusion or stigmatization as the children grow older. Thanks to her free treatment from Mercy Ships, Aissata won’t have to face those challenges.
Aissata was treated by the following medical volunteers serving with Mercy Ships:
• Phil Freeman (maxillofacial surgeon) — Texas
• Brian Barki (anesthesia supervisor) — Oklahoma
• David Chong (plastic surgeon) and Jill Sullivan (anesthetic assistant)
• Rachel Pollard (anesthesia provider)
• Zhalmaine Tuya (OR nurse)
• Hanna Shim (OR nurse)
• Catherine Lai (Ward nurse)
After Mercy Ships completes its fourth surgical visit in Guinea in June, the Africa Mercy will sail for Senegal in August.
Learn more about the organization, including donation and volunteer opportunities, at MercyShips.org.
Original Source: Mercy Ships: Published on May 20, 2019 https://www.mercyships.org/blog/mercy-ships-volunteers-perform-100000th-free-surgical-procedure/