Airdate: Surgery Ship

2013-11-28_1647Next month SBS screens Surgery Ship, a documentary that follows a team of Australian medics facing life and death decisions on the Mercy Ship in Guinea.

Surgery Ship follows the remarkable story of the Mercy Ship docking in Guinea for 12 months and performing thousands of life changing and life-saving surgeries for conditions that have often long since been eradicated in the Western world. Amongst the volunteers are a dozen Australian doctors and medical staff taking this special journey.

A line numbering in the thousands hugs the Guinean shore as the Africa Mercy docks. Buzzing with the enthusiasm of 450 volunteers from over 40 countries, this floating hospital services the poorest African countries and provides much needed surgery free of charge to those who need it most. World-class medical teams perform thousands of procedures representing a turning point in the lives of many, but limited time and resources mean just as many are turned away in a life or death decision made on the spot.

Cameras capture the amazing work undertaken on-board the world’s largest floating private hospital that comprises of four fully operating theatres and dozens of skilled professionals.

The ship docks in a different country every year and people come from all corners of the globe. It is the last hope for so many – and if they miss the boat, there is no other chance.

However by the end of this extraordinary journey it is not just the patients who are transformed. The stand-out nurses and doctors will be challenged to the limits of their training and abilities. Meet Nerida, a young and idealistic yet inexperienced Australian surgeon who will face a patient who cannot be fully cured. Neil is a mature doctor who has left his steady practise to go to one of the most out of control countries on earth. Dan, the physiotherapist, will form an unexpectedly deep connection with a young child, whom he must leave at the end of the year in Guinea. Told through their eyes Surgery Ship follows the dramatic and confronting events as they unfold on-board.

Tuesday 10 December at 8.30pm on SBS ONE.

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