23 Apr What is your Mercy Ships family up to?
Many of our volunteers have returned home to help their national health services combat the coronavirus. Volunteers like Michelle White (read her story here). It isn’t just our volunteers, some of our staff, who used to be medics, have returned to help in these difficult times, like Kirsty Randall. Kirsty is our Country Director for Senegal, she has reported back to her old Intensive Care Unit and, after a refresher course, has been called up as part of the NHS’s response to the pandemic.
Kirsty, with the Africa Mercy in the background
Matthew Little is one of our volunteer Deck Hands. He is twenty and helped sail the Africa Mercy from Senegal into drydock. Whilst he is still onboard Matthew is getting stuck in to help get the Africa Mercy ready to return to Africa as soon as possible:
“I will continue working in the Deck Department… helping with the maintenance of the ship, by dealing with rust, repainting, cleaning the decks, to ensure that the ship is in the right, strong condition, to be able to bring hope and healing…”
He is also thinking of his family back in the UK on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19. “My sister, Zoe, is paediatric Nurse, in Bath, on the frontline in the fight. My other sister, Hannah, is an engineer working on the new hospital [build inside the Principality Stadium], to help the fight in Cardiff. I am super proud of both of them for what they are doing in the UK and very proud to call them my sisters.”
Matthew, with his parents who have also volunteered with Mercy Ships
Kathryn Dugworth is our Grade 1 teacher onboard. “I have served on the ship since July 2019… I am remaining on the ship during this period to serve the children and families in this community. I am able to use my gifts as a teacher here, providing some sense of normal life for the children during this period. I am proud of my fellow teachers and friends back in the UK who are serving key workers children so that they can help those affected by COVID–19.”
Kathryn with students from the school onboard the Africa Mercy, taken before the COVID-pandemic
Judith Dillon, who spent eight weeks working onboard the Africa Mercy as an Admissions Nurse, is currently working in the Emergency Department of her local NHS trust.
“I have never seen anything like we are seeing at present. Some people haven’t appreciated the NHS, but I think now it is appreciated more than ever. It makes me so grateful to know that we have the resources needed to try and fight this awful virus. I should have been in Senegal right now and I’m mindful of what a struggle it will be for the African communities to isolate and stay safe! They haven’t got the NHS! They have to pay for their treatment or at worst they just stay at home not seeking any medical help.
“I thank God every day for his grace and provision. I pray that God will be with those still on the ship give them protection as they prepare the ship for the next venture.”
These are just a few of the amazing members of your Mercy Ships family who are all doing what they can to help tackle the current crisis. Every one of us has a role to play in this current situation: on the frontline or by supporting those who are by staying home. Thank you all! We would love to hear your stories, use the hashtag #MercyActs to let us know.