Africa Mercy saves a 12-year-old’s life after a tumor takes over her face

Kaltoumi is a 12-year-old girl who developed a deadly tumor on her face. The tumor got so big it started restricting her breathing and to the girl it was almost impossible to eat.

The tumor took over her face for 5 years, and she was given only 3 months to live.

Then, the surgeons abroad the Africa Mercy saved her life.

Africa Mercy is a hospital ship providing care to third world countries – docked in Cameroon to perform surgery.

The government of Cameroon flew Kaltoumi to the port where Africa Mercy ship was docked, and the team of surgeons worked precisely to remove her tumor.

The before and after pictures of Kaltoumi.


After the surgery, Kaltoumi who can now eat properly and smile for the first time in 5 years, said : “It feels like a heaviness has been lifted from me.”


Dr. Gary Parker – chief medical officer and surgeon described Kaltoumi as “The poster child for five billion people unable to access timely, affordable, safe surgery in impoverished countries on the continent.”


“Because of lack of access to the care she needed, a 12-year-old girl ended up with a massive tumor threatening her life. A man becomes a creature of his uniform. The ‘uniform’ that’s put on someone like Kaltoumi, as this tumor relentlessly enlarges, is that you’re cursed. You’re not a worthy member of this human race. When that uniform changes, dramatic things can happen Who you are, which has been lost for all these years, starts to bubble back up again.” – continued Parker.


Some months after the surgery, Kaltoumi had to return to the ship to tighten her skin, the ship’s crew kindled around her, showering her with affection. She got really close with a volunteer Carys Parker, they formed a sisterly bond.


“When I first met her, she was reserved and tentative to try new games and activities with me, but within a matter of weeks I found it impossible to see Kaltoumi without hearing her laughter and being body slammed by one of her hugs. She loves life and she wants to share that love and joy with others. It truly does take a village to bring about such amazing change.” – says Carys.

To which, Dr. Parker adds: “She has the potential to be a world-changer because she has the determination to never give up”




It’s touching to hear anyone let alone a girl so young had to go through this hard time for 5 years, but it’s relieving to hear that she is all better now and her life is saved.

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