Mercy Ships Helps Fulfill Marie Madeleine’s Dream of Walking

DAKAR, SENEGAL — For years, Marie Madeleine’s hyperextended knee made walking a challenge. She dreamed of walking through life step by step with her friends. Her family didn’t give up hope that her dream would one day be possible… and a free surgery with Mercy Ships in the port of Dakar in Senegal, even brought another new dream to life: “She was inspired by Mercy Ships to become a doctor,” said Marie Madeleine’s grandmother. “She wants to be a doctor to help people like she was helped.”

BintouMarie Madeleine’s Grandmother:

When she was going to school, children laughed at her because of her condition. It was very painful to us. We were waiting for God’s help because we couldn’t afford her surgery. Now God’s helped has arrived. Because of this, I knew everything was going to be alright.

Marie Madeleine was scheduled for surgery with Mercy Ships. She received a free operation that restored mobility to her leg.


The doctors and nurses they really know what they are doing.

AlliePhysical Therapist:

It’s just amazing to see her leg come out and be in a straight, not bent position. She just has strengthening to go after here and walking, to practice walking with her leg in a new position.


We are praising God she is going back to school. Now the children are showing her respect, they are no longer laughing at her like before. I thank everyone on the ship, those who are working onboard. Doctors, nurses, and others, I thank and praise them all. She was inspired by Mercy Ships to become a doctor. She wants to be a doctor to help like she was helped.

About Mercy Ships

Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class healthcare services, capacity building, and sustainable development to those with little access in the developing world. Founded in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens, 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. Our 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, seamen, 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. For more information click on

CONTACT: Diane Rickard, Int’l Media Relations Manager, Mercy Ships,

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