Story of Zakael

Freed from a burden

Zakael before and after the surgery.
Dr. Gary Parker, volunteer surgeon on board for 28 years, is providing a life-changing surgery to Zakael.
Zakael and his father.

Zakael grins from ear to ear. On a very hot summer day in Madagascar, the seven-year-old wears his shirt open, revealing a small surgical scar just above his left collarbone. He wears the scar proudly... a symbol of where he has been and where he is going.

A week earlier, Zakael’s shirt was buttoned to the top in an attempt to hide a tennis ball-sized cyst that had been slowly growing since birth. A week earlier, Zakael wasn’t smiling. In fact, his gaze was sullen and withdrawn. A week earlier, he wasn’t sure