Nearly three decades ago, a Scottish anaesthetist is volunteering, with Mercy Ships, in the West African country of Sierra Leone. He specialises in obstetric anaesthetics – the provision of pain relief for women in labour.

One day, while visiting the maternity hospital in Freetown, the capital city, he discovers an 18-year-old woman in great distress.

She has been in labour for four long days, and needs an emergency caesarean section. But her family don’t have the finances to pay for the procedure.

Without funds, the surgeon is refusing to operate.

Without surgery, the woman will die. Her baby may well die too.

Confronted with this dramatic life-and-death dilemma, the Scottish doctor makes a spur-of-the-moment decision.

That decision is still bearing consequences today – 27 years later.

Along the way, it’s seen serendipity, crossed continents and spanned generations.

Just recently, it battled with Coronavirus and won.

It’s also featured a wedding!

It’s a heart warming lightthroughthecracks story, and you can read it here, written mostly in the doctor’s own words.


Photo by marla66 from Pixabay


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