A desperate grandfather has had a tumour that weighed a stone and grew to twice the size of his head removed after he walked for three days to seek help. Sambany revealed that he took on the extraordinary mission after hearing about a brilliant charity that performs medical treatments in some of the poorest nations on earth.2

Mercy Ships runs out of an ocean liner that docks in various ports and then opens its doors to offer free, state-of-the-art health care to those in need.

Although the team is chocked full of hugely experienced doctors, surgeons and other medical professionals, few had worked on a tumour the size of Sambany’s. The Madagascan, who walked for 72 hours to reach the port of Toamasina and is in his 60s, first noticed something was wrong while he was in his 20s.

He first developed a swelling in his left cheek that began to grown – eventually becoming almost twice the size of his head.

After arriving at the Mercy Ship, doctors agreed to perform surgery on him and during an incredible 12-hour operation they removed a growth weighing a staggering 16.5lbs.
Speaking to the Mail Online just before his surgery, Sambany told how he needed the procedure to
He said: “My heart is very, very happy.1

“I’m just happy.
“I know without surgery I will die.
“I know I might die in surgery, but I already feel dead inside from the way I’m treated.
“I choose to have surgery.”
“I’m very happy.

Happy: Sambany was delighted after seeing himself in a mirror
Following a successful operation, Sambany was handed a mirror to see himself without the tumour for the first time in four decades.

The delighted grandfather told doctors he was very happy, before he was told he must now remain on the boat and recover for a couple of months.
He told how he heard about Mercy Ships through a pal, and between them the two men travelled for three days to seek help.

Judy Polkinhorn, Executive Director of Mercy Ships UK, said: “Thanks to the expert skill of our amazing volunteers Mercy Ships are able to carry out such incredible, life-changing surgeries.
“I am so touched to hear about Sambany’s story – he really epitomises what the charity is all about.”