Twelve year old Komi is appreciative of the medical care he has received with Mercy Ships. “Because of the way that they took care of me here,” he says, “I want to take care of others in that way. I am the lucky one. I want to be a doctor like them.”
Komi arrived to the screening in Togo with a large growth on his neck. It was a thyroid tumor that had been growing in size for 5 years.
“When I first noticed it,” his mother remembers, “I wondered what it was. I did everything in my power to stop it, but I had no money to go to the hospital.”
Maulowé, Komi’s mother, was busy taking care of her four children and was cooking and selling food on the side of the road to provide shelter and clothing for her family. Komi, a triplet, has 2 sisters his same age and a younger brother.
Regarding her pregnancy with triplets, Maulowé comments, “I did not know I had 3 babies inside me. When I went into labor, I still did not know. Then, when they were born, I had three mouths to feed and I was overwhelmed.”
Sever years passed and Maulowé’s husband died, Komi’s tumor grew larger, and then she got malaria. Life for her family was extremely difficult.
Maulowé received a call from her brother that lived in Lomé. He told her about a hospital ship that was docked at the port, and they could help Komi. Because the mother was sick, Komi went to the screening accompanied by his uncle. Komi was approved for surgery and given a date to return to the ship.
In the meantime, Maulowé recovered from malaria and was able to come to the Africa Mercy with her son. Their stay has been short, but life changing. Dr. Gary Parker performed the surgery on Komi’s thyroid tumor and now it is completely gone.
Komi informed his nurse that the one thing he is looking forward to when he gets home is going back to school. “I want to play soccer with my friends,” he says. “They will no longer be scared of me.”
Maulowé sits next to Komi beaming. She was forced to take Komi out of school because the other children were afraid of him. They thought the devil was inside him and that is why he looked so different. Now she knows that he will be able to attend school and be a normal kid.
“I am so grateful for the nurses and doctors at Mercy Ships. May God bless you all.”
With smiles on their faces, Maulowé and Komi walk hand-in-hand out of the port and into the city. Mercy Ships has touched a life, and given him a dream of becoming a doctor. We can only hope and pray that his dream comes true.