Sarah* arrived at the YWAM Medical Ship, MV YWAM PNG’s, dental clinic late in the day, pain pounding from her jaw. She knew the cause; her local dentist had discovered her wisdom tooth had decayed below her gumline. The solution was a surgical operation in Lae, but young mother, Sarah, could not afford the trip from her remote village, let alone the dental surgery itself.
The tooth’s decay could prove to be deadly, but Sarah had no recourse. “She was at great risk of developing an abscess in her neck, which could have been life-threatening,” said Dr Anthony Lynham, a maxillofacial surgeon aboard the ship. The surgery was neither lengthy nor complicated, but poverty moved it just out of Sarah’s reach.
When the MV YWAM PNG anchored near Sarah’s village, she knew her chance had come. Under the hands of Dr Lynham and MV YWAM PNG dentist, Dr James Clish, Sarah underwent the surgery. Thirty minutes later, she was freed from both the unyielding pain and the threat of a deadly abscess.
The ship’s motto of “I want to live” was reflected in Sarah’s own heart, and the clinic was privileged to help her overcome the barriers of cost and accessibility. She left the ship with a few sutures, care instructions, and a renewed chance at life.