We are only allowed to post certain things about our patients in order to protect their privacy, which is why many of my posts are not hospital related. I could tell you hundreds of stories about the patients I've had the privilege to care for in the past 8 months, but to keep to those rules, I will let our amazing Communications Team do it for me! You may not realize that we have an entire team of people who work on the Africa Mercy taking photos and videos and writing patient stories to share with our donors and other media outlets. Not only do they interview the patients and caregivers to find out more details about their lives than I could, they also are WAY better writers :) Now that we've been in Madagascar for a while, we have a pretty large collection of these stories and photos that I plan to share so you can see the impact Mercy Ships has had on this country and people.
This first story, Lalao, is not a patient I had the pleasure to care for, but many of my friends did and I heard about how sweet and beautiful she was. I also chose this story first because it will be a change from the plastic surgery and orthopedic stories I've shared previously. Our last plastic surgeon left in March, so for the past 2 months I've been working with General surgery patients who have hernias, lipomas (fatty tumors) or goiters (enlarged thyroid). These patients don't always get as much attention in the media because their physical transformations aren't as dramatic and they usually only stay with us for a few days. But as you will read below, the impact can be just as great!