Sharing Mayo Clinic

Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

Share this:

Mon, Jan 23 at 1:38pm CDT · 1 Reply

Aboard Floating Hospital, Bringing Medical Help to Poorest Nations

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic

As part of the volunteer medical crew on a hospital ship, Mayo Clinic nurse anesthetist Brittany Blake put her expertise to work providing much-needed care to patients in West Africa.
Brittany Blake, a nurse anesthetist at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus, has participated in many international missions trips over the past five years. But her recent experience as a volunteer with Mercy Ships, an international faith-based organization that sends floating hospitals to some of the poorest nations is the world, was different than any of her other missions. This time, she could put her medical training to work.

“I wanted to use my advanced skills to perform anesthesia for the life-changing surgeries Mercy Ships volunteers perform,” says Brittany, who has worked at Mayo Clinic for seven years.

Life-changing care

Brittany spent two weeks in October and November 2016 in the West African port of Cotonou, Benin, as part of an all-volunteer medical staff and crew of 1,000 aboard the ship "Africa Mercy." The ocean liner is the world’s largest nongovernmental hospital ship, dedicated to the African continent.

Blake prepared patients who lacked safe, affordable surgical and anesthesia services for operations such as cleft lip and cleft palate repair, cataract removal, facial reconstruction, orthopedic procedures, and obstetric fistula repair.

“Seeing how much of a difference these surgeries make in the lives of patients and their tears of joy from having people wanting to help them was truly life-changing.”  — Brittany Blake

One notable example she recalls was helping with the surgery of an 18-year-old pregnant woman who had a grapefruit-sized dental tissue tumor that blocked her mouth and prevented her from eating. The woman couldn’t swallow and was severely malnourished.

“Surgeons were able to remove the tumor and reconstruct the left side of her face,” Brittany says. “Seeing how much of a difference these surgeries make in the lives of patients and their tears of joy from having people wanting to help them was truly life-changing.”

A powerful impact

Brittany says she has returned with a great appreciation for the resources and the Model of Care that enable Mayo Clinic staff to improve the health and well-being of patients and communities around the world.

Like Mayo Clinic, Mercy Ships offers training for medical professionals, including surgeons, nurses and advanced-practice providers, to help strengthen the local health care systems of the countries where the organization docks.

Blake says she hopes her experience will inspire other health care professionals to use their medical expertise to bring quality health care to people in developing nations.

“Hope is a powerful drug,” Blake says. “Mercy Ships provides hope for people who didn’t have any.”



Tags: Brittany Blake, Uncategorized, Volunteer, Volunteers


Posted by @michelle12345, 6 days ago

My name is Michelle Omar.i want to give thanks to DR BEN for bringing back my ex husband.No one could have ever made me believe that the letter I’m about to write would actually one day be written. I was the world’s biggest skeptic. I never believed in magic spells or anything like this, but I was told by a reliable source (a very close co-worker) that DR BEN is a very dedicated, gifted, and talented person,It was one of the best things I have ever done. My love life was in shambles; I had been through two divorces and was on the brink of a third. I just couldn't face another divorce, and I wanted to try harder to make our relationship work, but my husband didn’t seem to care and he brake up with me again.I was confuse and do not no what to do again, rather than to get in contact with DR BEN. He did a love spell that make my husband come back to me. we are now very much happy with our self. DR BEN make him to realize how much we love and need each other. This man is for REAL and for good.he can also help you to fix your broken relationship. I had my husband back! It was like a miracle! He suddenly wanted to go to marriage counseling, and we’re doing very, very well,in our love life. contact tel: +1(310)-220-0075

Please login or become a member to post a comment.

Contact Us · Privacy Policy