Features: Ship Volunteer Removes Large Cyst From Teen’s Ear

From the field

July 26, 2016

URUGEN VILLAGE, Papua New Guinea — As dozens of people crammed into the 64-square-meter room here in April, Dinnah Nick strained to gain ground for herself as well. Most people her age in this Kar Kar Island community were probably off doing chores or relaxing during a week that was a hiatus from class for public-school students. But 16-year-old Dinnah was anxious to receive medical attention, and on this day a rare opportunity for free and competent health care presented itself. She had no intention of missing out.

Dinnah was suffering severe discomfort from a large cyst on the back of her right ear which was about three-quarters the size of a golf ball. Without treatment, there lay the danger that the cyst or — worse — her ear canal would become infected. But the fluid-filled sac had been there for weeks and she had no idea how it could be remedied.

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When she heard that YWAM health care volunteers — who sailed to Kar Kar Island aboard the m/v PACIFIC LINK — had come to her village, she seized the opportunity. She pushed through the large crowd that had gathered for primary health care and infant vaccinations, signed up for her appointment with clinicians and took her place in line.

After her wait ended, she was examined by John Mark Wheeler, who supervises medical outreaches for PACIFIC LINK volunteers. Wheeler was able to drain Dinnah‘s cyst (which took about 10 minutes) and prescribe medicine. By the time the procedure was over, the once-prominent cyst was no longer visible.

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Dinnah went home relieved that her the cyst was gone. With tears in her eyes, she went home glad that the cyst was now only a memory.

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