WALKING WITH CONFIDENCE – SATOU’S STORY

(August 11, 2021) Caloundra, Qld, Mercy Ships shares more good news…

Satou is actually a happy child. She doesn’t like being sad,’ her mother, Khady, shared. ‘She is also strong-willed and determined and would get very upset when she felt that she was not being respected.’

Satou’s family was very disheartened. With no access to medical care, Khady worried her daughter would never find the healing she’d need to stand tall.

Then someone told Khady about the arrival of the Mercy Ships hospital ship, the Africa Mercy.

‘Doors of heaven’ open
Khady rushed Satou to a patient screening, where she was given a date for the surgery that would straighten her legs. ‘I have not dared to even dream that it is possible that my daughter’s legs can be straightened,’ Khady said. ‘It feels as though the doors of heaven were being opened for her.’

When Satou was admitted to the hospital, it marked the beginning of a new chapter – one of physical and spiritual healing – in her life. In the hospital, and later in the Hospital Outpatient Extension (HOPE) Centre she was accepted and loved by the volunteers and other patients.

She was able to play with many other children who, just like her, had been outcast because of a physical disability outside of their control. She was in a community and surrounded by friends – to play with, encourage, and laugh with.

Many times during her healing, Satou would stand, without holding onto her walker, clapping her hands and trying to dance. Eventually, she abandoned the walker and began moving around on her own. ‘When we spoke with her father, Satou told him, “I’m strong, I walk alone, and my legs are straight!”’ Khady said.

Dream come true
Satou was a happy, friendly six-year-old who loves being around people, but unfortunately, her windswept legs caused many in her community to tease and reject her. But now she will be able to embrace her life to the fullest!

‘As every mother does, I am praying for her to be like others, return to school and to be integrated into society,’ Khady added. ‘I believe that she will now have an easier life – one that is full and successful!

Working to benefit millions
Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class health care services, capacity building, and sustainable development to those with little access in the developing world.

Founded in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens (right), Mercy Ships has worked in more than 55 developing countries, providing services valued at more than $1.7 billion and directly benefitting more than 2.8 million people.

Ships are crewed by volunteers from over 60 nations, with an average of over 1,200 volunteers each year. Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, healthcare trainers, teachers, cooks, mariners, engineers, and agriculturalists donate their time and skills. With 16 national offices and an Africa Bureau, Mercy Ships seeks to transform individuals and serve nations one at a time.
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For more information, contact: Mercy Ships Australia, PO Box 1080 Caloundra QLD 4551, Email: msaust@mercyships.org / Toni Keighley Donor Services Coordinator toni.keighley@mercyships.org Ph: 1300 739 899
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