Friday, July 16, 2010

Baby Kossi

We were all in for a treat a few days ago when the Hospital recieved a call from Dr. Russ Ebersol at the Baptist Mission Hospital in Kpalime. Dr. Russ is a good associate of Mercy Ships and sometimes he refers patients to us.

Dr. Russ told us that he had a newborn baby who was having complications. The baby was born just 2 days ago and has a lesion on his tounge. The lesion is large, and prohibits the baby froming doing a sucking motion, which is the only way he can get food (from breastfeeding). Dr. Russ knew that the surgeons on board would be able to remove the lesion, and help this baby breath and eat (and most likely save his life).

We gave him the OK to send mom and dad and the newborn to Lomé, and to come on board the Africa Mercy.
So, Wednesday night, a 4 day-old baby arrived on the ship. He didn't even have a name at first, but soon after, the mother decided his name should be Kossi because he was born on Sunday.

Kossi is a precious, adorable little thing. A munchkin you just want to eat up!!! He had surgery this morning, and Dr. Leo Cheng was able to remove the lesion without problems.

I spoke with Dr. Leo after the surgery and he told me that nutrition was the main issue with the lesion on Kossi's tongue. Since he couldnt make a sucking motion, he couldn't breast feed at all. I asked if there were any hospitals in Togo that could perform this type of surgery---Dr. Leo said no.

"So, if we had not been here to remove this lesion, Kossi could have died?" I asked...

"Yes," Dr. Leo said, "The threat of the lesion growing to the point that it blocks the airway is a very real threat. If it continued to grow, Kossi could easily die of suffocation."

The level of care we give on the ship is unrivaled in most places in Western Africa. We use state-of-the-art equipment, with world class surgeons and some of the best nursing care around. Dr. Leo explained to me that even though there are very capable surgeons here in Lomé, the do  not have the instruments OR the nursing support needed to sustain a life after a very complicated surgery.

We are so glad that Kossi had the opportunity to come to the Ship for surgery, and we most definitely saved that very precious life today. It really puts a warm feeling in your heart. What a good Friday!! TGIF!!

Pics of cute Kossi coming soon.....

Happy Friday everyone :)


  1. congratulations to dr leo cheng - luc, mercy ships belgium - good luck kossi !

  2. Dear Claire,

    My name is Emily. I am 20 and the second oldest child in our family of 16. Four of my sibling were adopted from West Africa!

    I publish a print magazine called Earthen Vessels. Earthen Vessels goes out to about 120 families/individuals around the world. Would you be interested in writing an article about yourself and your work on the Mercy Ship? If you would like to see a copy of Earthen Vessels first please let me know.

    Emily B.
    Editor, Earthen Vessels

  3. Baby Kossi will always be thankful for this day! Big ups to Dr. Leo and the Mercy Ships volunteers


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