Akuavi can face life again

Akuavi suffered for 30 years with a disfiguring tumor that threatened to take over her face and her life.
Thanks to the Africa Mercy and the tireless dedication of our volunteer doctors and nurses, Akuavi is free to live again. She no longer hides away in shame.
Free of her physical and emotional burden, Akuavi celebrates the beginning of her new life, thanks to her surgery onboard the Mercy Ship!

For 30 years, Akuavi suffered with an expanding growth over her right eye that no scarf could adequately cover. The problem began as a tiny pink bump that grew to a mound, bubbling out of her forehead.  It blocked vision in her right eye and threatened to cover the left one.

Akuavi struggled constantly just to live day-to-day. Hurtful remarks caused her to withdraw. When the tumor grew too large to ignore, her husband abandoned her and left her as the sole caregiver of their three children.

Her love for her family forced Akuavi out of hiding. She worked hard at farming - raising maize and yams. But she had to pay others to sell her crop - at great expense.

One day, Akuavi heard a radio announcement that a hospital ship would come to Togo, offering medical procedures free of charge. With her sister's encouragement and her own desperate need, Akuavi went to the ship’s screening for possible patients.

Following her surgery onboard the Africa Mercy, her brother and sister came to visit. They looked in every bed but did not recognize her until she called out to them. „They were amazed!“ she said with a contented smile.  She knew she could face life again!

Now Akuavi can carry produce on her head and do her own bargaining in the market to provide for her family.