Wednesday 9th March 2022 as a VIP Guest I boarded the world’s largest civilian hospital ship Global Mercy docked in Rotterdam.
I was escorted with my husband to a table at the front of the International Lounge on deck 7.
The afternoon’s proceedings began with a few short presentations from Don and Deyon Stephens the Founders of Mercy Ships, the UK CEO Joanne Ballam, International Board Director from Houston, Texas, The Manager of Global Mercy and the Manager of the Medical Team. We were then put into smaller groups and taken on a very impressive tour of the ship. As these tours were staggered you were provided with a cold lunch and refreshments whilst waiting for your tour to begin. Global Mercy was built from the ground up and has a length of 174 metres, a breadth of 28.6 metres and a gross tonnage of 37,000.
The hospital is on decks 3 and 4 and has a patient capacity of 199. There are 6 operating theatres, 102 acute care bed, 7 ICU/isolation beds and 90 self – care beds.
A Global Grant of $1.125 million dollars from Rotary International funded a CT Scanner and other vital medical equipment to go on board Global Mercy.
After the guided tours had all completed, we came back to the International Lounge for a Q&A session followed by a presentation by myself as Ambassador of Sightbox Trust to Global Mercy of a Sightbox to the hospital wards. For me this is a great honour as both Africa Mercy and Global Mercy now have a Sightbox.
A huge honour and a very emotional day and one where many doors have now opened for me.