Monday, May 28, 2012

Transformation Part Deux

You got to see a glimpse of the transformation the plastic patients have made, now I get to tell you about the beautiful ladies I have the honor of taking care of! They are the most beautiful, strong, and loving women I know (apart from my own mother of course!) I wish all of you could meet them! They have suffered through childbirth only to deliver a stillborn baby after 3+ days in labor, and then are left with a devastating condition that causes them to leak urine or stool all the time. They are outcasted, shunned, and even left to suffer alone. One woman told us the other day that the people in her village won't let her go to the well to get water because they are afraid she will pass on her condition to them; they throw rocks and sticks at her to keep her away. She has to live in a hut by herself, away from contact from other people just because she smells of urine.

These ladies suffer from Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF), also known as Obstetric Fistula. A term foreign in the developed world, but much too common in Africa. According to VVF surgeon Dr. Lauri Romanzi, who served on the Africa Mercy this year, obstetric fistulas are 100% preventable. In the states we are well aware of the issues with access to medical insurance and affordable medical care, but what if there wasn't access to a hospital for days. For most of these women, the nearest hospital to have a c-section is days away. They either walk, or drum up enough money to get a ride to the nearest hospital, which is usually a day or two after beginning labor, and when they have the okay from their husband or head of the house.

Having surgery to fix the fistulas is an absolute God-send. These women have been suffering 10+ years with their fistulas, and have been on a waiting list since 2010 when the ship was in Togo last. After they have surgery to correct the fistula we give the women dresses to symbolize their new life! Here are some pics of the women, they speak a thousand'll love them, I do.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Soooo...I've been meaning to write for a while now. It's amazing how fast time goes. I've been taking care of the plastics patients for a couple months now, but plastics is all wrapped up, short of a couple patients, and now VVF is here (and almost gone now...eek this was supposed to be posted 3 weeks ago!)...You might be wondering what VVF is, and why I'm so excited..I'll get there, but first let me show you some of the transformations of our plastics patients! Yay pictures!

Beaugua after we did a burn contracture release of his left wrist & hand.
He now has function and movement of his wrist! He is such a godly man,
he was always the leader of the impromptu worship sessions on the

Beaugua Before....


This is Prudencia before, with two thumbs...

...and after with one thumb! She is the sweetest thing!

Komla's leg was burned and healed in a 90 degree angle, making his left leg unusable. He came to screening walking on his right knee and using a small wooden stick as a crutch.



Komla after surgery with his leg straight, playing soccer,
and running around!

Richara after! She has truly transformed into
a new person!!! The joy is evident in her face.
She stayed so long that she started learning
English phrases...our favorites:
"How are you I'm fine"
"I love you tomorrow"


Those are just some of the amazing patients that changed my life with their love, laughs, and transformations! I wish you could meet them all and hear all of their stories...Thank you for helping me be here, I am truly blessed!

...the next chapter of this story will be for another time...