• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Bringing medical help aboard a floating hospital

January 29, 2017

Brittany on the medical ship
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. Read the rest of Brittany's story.
This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.