Hope for my Children

Amavi, Kossinovi and thousands of patients at the screening day hoped to receive an appointment for a free surgery.
Amavi, Kossinovi and thousands of patients at the screening day hoped to receive an appointment for a free surgery.
A nurse gives post-operative care to Amavi
A nurse gives post-operative care to Amavi
Mercy Ships provided 54,000 medical procedures for more than 35,000 patients during the Togo 2010 field assignment.
Mercy Ships provided 54,000 medical procedures for more than 35,000 patients during the Togo 2010 field assignment.
Mrs. Amento wasn’t the only Togolese mother hoping for a new start for her children…Mercy Ships volunteer doctors provided more than 130 cleft lip and/or palate repairs.
Mrs. Amento wasn’t the only Togolese mother hoping for a new start for her children…Mercy Ships volunteer doctors provided more than 130 cleft lip and/or palate repairs.

Amavi and her baby sister, Kossinovi, are from a family of eight children. They share a distinctive characteristic - they were both born with a cleft lip. In the West African culture, such deformities are viewed with superstition and ridicule.

Little Kossinovi is only seven months old - too young to suffer from the harsh remarks of unfeeling friends. But Amavi is 12 and has felt the sting of sharp tongues all too often. An eighth- grade student, she has struggled to make friends. But her classmates find her disfigured upper lip a good reason to belittle her and call her names. Her mother says when she sends Amavi out to play, there is always a fight, and she comes home crying. Amavi has coped by becoming shy and retiring, keeping to herself to avoid hurtful remarks.

The children’s mother has been very concerned about their future, but surgical repair has been out of reach because of the cost. So when a friend at the local hospital told her that the volunteer doctors with Mercy Ships would do the surgery without charge, she quickly made arrangements to get Amavi and Kossinovi to the Africa Mercy screening day. Doctors admitted both children to the ship’s hospital where they received successful surgeries and went home the next day. They returned to the ship for regular p