Mercy Ships provides medical relief to some of the worlds most isolated and disadvantaged communities. Some of these surgeries would take place in New Zealand daily but unfortunately, the resources are not available overseas, therefore, they can turn into huge life-threatening disabilities. Hugh Green Foundation does not fund overseas charities, but the New Zealand Mercy Ships has been tasked with raising one million dollars from the forty million targets. Therefore, we want to help bring this dream to life and we will be donating one hundred thousand dollars over two years. We went and visited the couple who started Mercy ships New Zealand last week they have been involved with Mercy Ships for 35 years. It was very heart-warming to hear some of their personal experiences from when they lived and worked on the Mercy Ships and how life changing the ships are for the patients in need. Below is a story about a New Zealanders journey working on the Mercy Ships which is extremely compelling.
Auckland nurse, Hannah Peters, lived on a floating hospital for almost two years, helping some of the poorest people in the world. She wasn’t easily shocked until she met Marthe…
“On my third stint, we traveled to the nation of Benin, near Nigeria. Now an ‘old timer’ on the ship, I wasn’t easily shocked. But when a woman called Marthe arrived for treatment, her tumor was like nothing I’d ever seen.”
‘I’ve had it all my life,’ Marthe said taking off her cloak”
Marthe before (left) and after (right) having the tumor removed
Underneath was a 16-kilogram dark brown tumor stretching from her neck halfway down her back. She looked like she was carrying a backpack under her clothes. She was only 32, the same age as me. Compared to my blessed life, hers had been so full of hardship. I couldn’t imagine how she’d coped having kids and working with this burden weighing her down. The tumor was benign but fast growing. In New Zealand, something similar would have been removed once it grew to the size of a pea, but our surgeons had a very complicated job ahead.
With her kids seven hours away, she spent three months on the ward with only me and the other nurses for support. ‘I can’t do this,’ she’d groan some days as we painfully spent hours changing her dressings.
But the day she was well enough to leave was incredible. ‘I never believed this could happen,’ she said, hugging us all. ‘Thank you.’
‘Without the passion and commitment of donors and volunteers, the healing could never have happened. It is your generosity that makes it possible to bring hope to the poorest of communities. Thank you.’
Graeme Walls, National Director, Mercy Ships New Zealand.