Umu before and after surgery

A baby is born in a humble room in Sierra Leone. Her mother can’t wait to hold her.

But when Yei saw her newborn for the first time, she felt shocked and scared. “I was afraid to see the tumour on her face”, she says.

As Umu grew up, her tumour grew too. She found it hard to swallow food and was often sick. Every day, Yei grew more and more afraid that her beautiful baby would die.

No child should be born without access to hospital care. Yet 9 out of 10 people in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to surgery when they need it.

This loving mum took her baby to many hospitals, desperately looking for help. But there was not a single surgeon who could treat Umu’s condition in the whole of Sierra Leone.

Yei bravely held onto hope. At last, three years later, she heard good news of the Global Mercy where her daughter could find healing.

When Mercy Ships surgeons saw Umu, they operated straight away. The tumour was growing dangerously close to her airway – there was no time to waste.

Umu woke up from surgery to see her mum smiling down at her. “When Umu’s surgery was successful, I cried tears of joy”, said Yei. “I feel like a burden has been lifted from my shoulders.”

As Umu looked in the mirror, she beamed. Her tumour was gone.

After her surgery, Umu can eat much more than she could before. She’s already grown taller and stronger.

“She’s a very brave girl,” says her aunt, Fatmata. “The future holds something amazing for Umu.”

Bring a miracle of mercy this Christmas. Give a child like Umu free, life-saving surgery, so they can grow up with hope and happiness.

Your generosity can create miracles for more families this Christmas. Donate by 31st December and your gift will be matched for free.

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