Miraculous Beauty / by Ryan Chen

Watching surgeons operate is one of the most amazing experiences. I thought documenting the OR would make me ill. It fascinated me endlessly.




Dr. Gary Parker (U.S.)


Dr. Andrew Kirkpatrick (Canada), General Surgeon, operating on a hernia patient.


Kerry Warner (Australia), OR Nurse, and Dr. Andrew Kirkpatrick


Zhalmaine Tuya (New Zealand), OR Nurse, assisting during a maxillofacial surgery.


Michelle White (England), Anaesthesiologist


Dr. Gary Parker (U.S.)

I watched Dr. Gary Parker (U.S.), Chief Medical Officer, and Togolaise surgeons perform an operation to remove two large facial tumors from a sixteen year old Nigerian girl. One of the tumors weighed eight pounds. The entire procedure took a little over 12 hours. Without this surgery, the growth of the tumors would have slowly suffocated the patient to death. Both short and long term volunteer doctors performed life saving operations every day.



The human body is a wonderfully intricate design of both form and function. To think that life was a biological accident that happened by chance is far too simple an explanation for man's existence. 



Looking upwards, I cannot deny the miraculous beauty of human life.




End of Field Service Statistics

In the very short six months that the Africa Mercy was in Lomé, the medical departement alone accomplished the following life transforming operations: 

Ophthalmic Surgeries: 725 Cataract Surgeries, 103 pterygium surgeries, 3099 eye evaluations and trained 3 Togolese eye surgeons. 

Maxillofacial Surgeries: 26 cleft lip and palate surgeries 255 maxillofacial (tumors) head and neck surgeries, and the training of 3 Togolese surgeons.

Plastic Reconstructive Surgery: 72 released burn contractures, combined fingers and other procedures, 889 physical and occupational therapy services.

General Surgeries: 268 surgeries including hernia and hydrocele repairs, tumor/lesion/lipoma excision 
and goiters.

Gynecologic Surgeries: 49 repairs of VVF (Vesicovaginal Fistula) and the training of one Togolese 
VVF surgeon.


© 2012 Mercy Ships-Photos by Ryan Chen