Story of Roger

For at least 10 years, Roger suffered with an ever-expanding growth on his chin. His remarkable sense of humor helped him to keep some friends, but most people didn’t want anything to do with him. He attended school until level three. By that time, the tumor got too big to ignore and the verbal abuse from classmates too hurtful to handle.

Of course, he could get very little work because most people feared him. He had to fish for a living with his brother and sold his catches in a nearby village.

One day, with the help of a local missionary, he travelled the 1,200 kilometers from Guinea to our hospital ship in Sierra Leone for a surgery.

Mercy Ships volunteer surgeons removed the enormous tumor that threatened to suffocate Roger. Because of the many years of suffering with the growing tumor, his lower lip had been extremely stretched. Our speech therapist worked with him extensively to demonstrate exercises that would reduce his lips to their original size.

After several weeks, Roger went back to Guinea, promising to return in September for a jaw replacement. When his brother, Nema, saw him, he exclaimed, „That’s NOT Roger!“ Because of the huge tumor, he had never seen what his brother really looked like.

Roger later returned to the Africa Mercy to have his jaw replaced with a titanium one.