Maomai: saved from suffocation

Paediatric nurse Ali Chandra has been delighted to look after this little bundle of joy!
Paediatric nurse Ali Chandra has been delighted to look after this little bundle of joy!
A cervical teratoma is a monstrous congenital benign tumour that can threaten a baby’s breathing
A cervical teratoma is a monstrous congenital benign tumour that can threaten a baby’s breathing
Beautiful Maomai is barely recognizable after her surgery on board the Africa Mercy
Beautiful Maomai is barely recognizable after her surgery on board the Africa Mercy
“I was so desperate to get help for my baby!”
“I was so desperate to get help for my baby!”

Baby Maomai would have probably died of suffocation had not Mercy Ships doctors intervened with vital surgery.

It was the middle of the night, and Perlagie couldn’t sleep. The image of Maomai, her three-month-old baby girl, flashed through her mind every time she closed her eyes. A huge tumour the size of the baby’s head was jutting out of Maomai’s neck. Perlagie looked over at her daughter, peacefully sleeping in her bed, and began to cry.

Baby Maomai was born with a cervical teratoma, a congenital benign tumour that had developed into a monstrous growth protruding from her neck. It started out as the size of a golf ball but after only three months the tumour was almost as large as the baby’s head.

What should have remained a joyful event for the whole family and village â€” the birth of a baby — soon turned into a living nightmare. Now when fellow villagers looked at Maomai, all they saw was a monster. And in a country where physical differences mark people as outcasts, Maomai was not welcomed anymore.

Perlagie and her husband naturally sought out help for their daughter. They took her to a local hospital, but there wa