The sun shone brightly when the yellow ambulance of Stichting WensAmbulance Oost-Nederland arrived, right next to the Global Mercy, setting off bright white against the clear blue sky. It was a very special day for 87-year-old Mrs. Teuna Damming.

Her greatest wish was to admire the Global Mercy from close by. On March 9th, this special request was fulfilled through a special collaboration between the Stichting WensAmbulance Oost-Nederland and Mercy Ships.

Mrs. Teuna Damming’s greatest wish was to take a closer look at the brand new, purpose-built Global Mercy. Now 87 years old, she’s been a loyal donor to Mercy Ships for many years and has a special connection with the maritime industry. Stichting WensAmbulance Oost-Nederland and Mercy Ships worked together to bring her to the ship and fulfill her dream, in her hometown of Rotterdam.

Mrs. Damming, a skipper’s daughter and a loyal donor to Mercy Ships for many years, was stunned by everything happening around her. “I never thought I would still be able to experience this,” she said, as her wheelchair was rolled alongside the ship. “This is an amazing day, a once in a lifetime experience.”

Back to her roots

While her visit to the Global Mercy was a new experience, for Mrs. Damming it was also a return to her roots at the same time. She is a native to Rotterdam and was born on an inland vessel in the Leuvehaven, 1.5 kilometres from the Parkkade, where the Global Mercy was moored.

“I have always really enjoyed the freedom of sailing,” she said. “My husband and I worked in inland shipping for a long time. The sailing life will stay with me forever; that is why the work of Mercy Ships appeals to me so much.”

(L-R: Corjan Rink, Mrs. Damming, Captain Taylor Perez)

Work from the heart

The connection to Mercy Ships runs deep, as Mrs. Damming resonates with the mission of the organization. “Besides the connection with sailing, I find it so valuable that Mercy Ships is really about helping people. The volunteers who do this work don’t do it to get rich, they really want to help people. Nowadays everything is about money, but this work comes from the heart.”

A wish for Mercy Ships

When asked what she, in turn, wishes for Mercy Ships, Mrs. Damming responded: “I wish Mercy Ships may prosper, that the important work in Africa will be blessed.”

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