Gary Parker is the Chief Medical Officer onboard the Africa Mercy. He is the key surgeon who chiefly operates on the extraordinarily large facial tumours that.
No-one embodies Mercy Ships like Dr. Gary, everyone on ship is universally in awe of him. Gary's particular speciality is large Maxillo Facial Craniofacial tumours, cleft lip and cleft palate, and ear-nose-throat diseases are life-threatening conditions for children and adults throughout Africa.
An uncorrected cleft palate makes it difficult, if not impossible, for a baby to nurse or drink from a bottle. Even benign facial tumours can grow to such large and distorted sizes that the capacity for an adult to function as a normal member of the community is impossible. Left untreated, tumours can grow to the point of being life-threatening as a person struggles to breathe or eat, and render the victim a social outcast.
Gary has spent 30 years of his professional life on board the ship. He and his wife Susan have brought up two children on board. His children have just started college in the USA and Gary and Susan are now spending more time on land to support them.
He just one of an amazing group of doctors, nurses and crew who have volunteered on The Mercy Ship. Don't miss the Facebook live event With Dr Parker on Monday 7pm.
Tune into Surgery Ship 7.30pm 18th April on Nat Geo People