Four year old Anja was brought into Mercy with severe malaria and anemia caused by the malaria. She received a blood transfusion and is now up and alert, running around the children’s ward and encouraging the other patients to get well and play with her. She is so cute and getting discharged today!
Helping Children Worldwide hosted our first ever Benefit Gala Dinner and Art Auction this past Friday, July 21 at Stone Tower Winery in Leesburg, VA and it was more amazing than we could have ever hoped! We had an incredible turnout of nearly 180 guests who enjoyed a lovely dinner, live music, and dancing, as well as the opportunity to listen to testimonies from Child Rescue Centre Director Mohamed Nabieu and Medical Projects Director Kim Sprout about their experiences in Bo, and what we can all do to help. The night wrapped up with an art auction featuring paintings from local artists, as well as an artist from Sierra Leone, Ali Turay.
We hope you all enjoyed the night. We are blessed to have such generous and engaged supporters, and we are thankful for each and every one of you.
Please take a look at the photos from the evening taken by photographer Gene Wiley
UPDATE 7/28/2017: We are thrilled to announce that because of your generosity HCW raised over $53,000 from the gala event! We cannot thank you all enough for your unwavering support!
Mercy's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Bockarie Kanneh has been on staff at Mercy Hospital since October 2013. Prior to coming to Mercy, Dr. Kanneh was educated and practiced medicine in Russia, and served as the Chief Medical Officer of Bo Government Hospital. After retiring from the Ministry of Health, he joined Mercy 10/15/13. Dr. Kanneh is married, and has four children and "many" grandchildren. He is Muslim, but all four of his children are Christian - a fact he's quite pleased and proud of.
Q: Why did you want to become a doctor?
A: When I was in high school, my mother had a terrible headache. She claimed, as many did in that time, it was very common, that her skull had split open. This idea started the interest for me and I began my studies in the medical field. After medical school, I realized that what she thought was a cracked skull was actually completely fine. It was just a myth that people believed.
Q: Where did you go to medical school?
A: I went to medical school in Kharkov (now a town in Ukraine) in the Soviet Union (now Russia). It was a government scholarship from the Soviet Union. You had to apply and do an interview. There were probably around 10-15 of us in my class and people came from different countries. We were there for seven years. The first two years were very difficult. We had to learn Russian and all our textbooks and lectures were in Russian.
Q: What do you love most about being a doctor?
A: To be specific, when I came out I studied general medicine. I was at a main referral hospital in Freetown and got experience in obstetrics and gynecology. It really inspired me and I started working at Marie Stopes for many years. I could be in the operating theatre for hours. I really enjoyed working there. I like maternal and child health. When you hand a woman her baby and they say "thank you." That "thank you," money cannot buy.
Q: What do you find most challenging?
A: When in surgery you go in and do your very best and the patient still dies. You feel guilty, but can’t even identify the reason and it is quite distressing. Also, I remember one case. The woman was a hemophiliac and had already had two cesarean sections. Her last doctor told her she should not have another child because of the blood clots. But I didn’t know any of this. So every time I would try to put the needle in she would just bleed. It was horrible (he tears up a little, remembering).
Q: What advice would you give a young person in Sierra Leone who wants to pursue a career in medicine?
A: Do general medicine and specialize in whatever area is an interest to you. It is the interest you have in treating patients that makes all the difference. Also, a very good doctor is one who is always available, always on call. You can be a great doctor and have a wonderful facility, but if you are not available it does not matter.
Gbessey was brought to Mercy Hospital with alarmingly high blood pressure. A diabetic, she was so weak she was unable to walk. After a few days of blood pressure medication and proper diet, she was feeling much better and was able to stand and walk on her own. “It was good I can go to Mercy. I was so afraid that I would not be well again. Thank God, I am much better now."
It is with deepest sorrow that we provide this update on the baby Abu-Bakarr, who we wrote about yesterday. Abu was brought to Mercy Hospital after being referred by Mercy's Outreach team. Severely malnourished, Abu struggled to breathe, and the Mercy staff worked diligently through the day yesterday to try to save his life. They were unsuccessful and Abu passed away at 8:40 last night.
There are many malnourished children just like Abu in the villages that are served by Mercy's Nutrition program. Mercy strives to get to each village on a monthly basis to provide these children with the nutritional supplementation they need to survive. Your support of the Mercy nutrition program is so critical to saving lives.
Thank you again for standing with us in prayer. Your prayers for Abu were a source of solace to him and his family, who are comforted in the knowledge that he is in heaven now and no longer suffering.
We would like to ask our prayer warrior friends to please pray for baby Abu Bakkar, an 8 month old baby who is only 7.7 lbs. His mother died during childbirth and his father has been unable to properly care for him because he is unemployed.
Mercy identiifed him on an outreach last week and begged the family to come to the hospital, which they did yesterday. Abu is doing a little better today, but he is not out of the woods yet. The staff are doing everything in our power to save his life. The child is severely malnourished and they are trying to feed him. They are testing him for other things, but for now the malnutrition is the only apparent issue. There is no dependable prognosis for now. It's not encouraging that his weight is like a newborn, but there is still some room for hope. It is going to be very touch and go for a while. His breathing seems normal today, yesterday it was not.
Please keep him, his family, and the staff in your prayers.
In early June, Mercy Hospital was pleased to welcome a number of new staff: Deborah Boima (Community Health Officer), Theresa Swaray (State Certified Midwife),Winifred Smart, Hawa Jalloh, and Mariama Bangalie (Maternal and Child Health Aides), and Aminata Turary (laundress). These new "wonder women," have brought a great deal of enthusiasm and energy to Mercy in just one short month.
Theresa is happy to be on the Mercy team, "I like working at Mercy. Everyone is very nice. This week I am leading devotion. It is a new experience for me and I am a little nervous but I enjoy it!" Deborah agrees, adding, "I just got off of night duty and I am so tired, but it was a good night. The patients are doing well and recovering. So far I am enjoying Mercy."
"It already feels like a family, Hawa shared. "We have only been here a few weeks but everyone is so kind and I feel very welcome."
Hospital Administrator, Jinnah Lahai is pleased to welcome these women to Mercy. "They are really doing well. Those in maternity were a little bit intimidated at first after hearing about the great reputations of the maternity department. It is a big role to play. But they are really doing well."
By David Musa, Child Support Program Manager
The program started in the Afternoon with prayers done by Rev. Edna Boima. Other invitees were the Doctor, Manager and Matron from Mercy Hospital, Fudia and her team From MTC, the CSP, FCP children and parents of the Residential Children and the entire staff of CRC. Power point presentations was done on the success of the CRC over the past 17 years and recognition of three foundation staff, Lucy Jusu, Naomi Kabba and Mabel Mustapha. Statements were also made by the CRC Director, Mercy and Former staff of CRC.
A remarkable gift was presented to the CRC through the HCW Director of Medical Programs, Kim Sprout. At the end of the session in the great hall, all participants assembled behind the peace hut where this gift was planted - A COCONUT. The highlight of the program was a football match between the male staff and residential boys, in which it ended 2-1 to the staff. Refreshment was also provided at the end of the program.