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Dr. Kent Brantly: Liberia Has a Very Special Place in Our Hearts

first_imgThe deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD), which ravished the nation and brought it to its knees in 2014, has left in its wake stories that will be told for generations. It has even gone down in Liberian and world history as the worst form of the EVD ever to hit mankind. The World Health Organization (WHO) said more than 10,600 persons contracted the virus in Liberia. Of that number, nearly 5000, precisely 4,807 died from the virus. More than half of that number was cremated, which is totally against the traditional manner in which Liberians handle their dead.However, there are hundreds of others, who, by the grace of God, survived the scourge. One of the survivors, who has credited his survival from the disease to God’s miraculous intervention “in the affairs of man,” is Dr. (MD) Kent Brantly.Dr. Brantly was the first American to contract the EVD, while trying to selflessly save his patients, who had come to the Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) Hospital’s emergency room. Brantly had, by then, been working with ELWA for at least eight months. He had to be flown back to his home country for advanced medical treatment. After spending three weeks at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital, he walked out of the hospital an EVD survivor.Our Health Correspondent met him Thursday, June 25, on the compound of ELWA hospital. He had come back to extend thanks and appreciation to his Liberian and US colleagues who looked after him when he fell sick before he was flown out of Liberia. The first part of this interview was published on Tuesday, June 30. Below is the second and final part:Daily Observer (DO): Have you been able to meet other American survivors like Nurse Nancy Writebol and others? What do you talk about when you meet?Kent Brantly (KB): I have met several of the American survivors, including Nancy. Nancy and I were close friends before we both got sick and we were in the hospital at the same time in America. So, we share something very close together and that will be a bond that we share for the rest of our lives. I am so glad that Nancy and her husband David are back in Liberia and working with SIM (Sudan Interior Mission) and working at ELWA to serve Liberia. I’m very proud of her. I have met Dr. Rick Sacra; he was my mentor here at ELWA hospital and I am so thankful to God that he’s well. He’s been back to Liberia a couple of times and working here at the hospital. I thank God for him. I have met several other American survivors and things we talk about…you know there have been two American survivors, who got Ebola in America. The rest of them were people who got the disease by working in West Africa. And that’s the thing that we all talk about. We recognize that it was so much harder for people here. Most of America can understand and America is paying so much attention to us and we are saying, ‘Don’t pay much attention to us. Pay attention to West Africa. That’s where we need to be focusing.’ So that is the thing that we talk about the most. DO: So, Doc, when you heard that Eric Duncan, the Liberian guy who took Ebola to America had passed away, how did you feel personally? KB: I was really heart broken when I heard that news. It just made me so sad. I still have not met his fiancée Louise Troh, but I hope to meet her someday. I felt so bad for his whole family. It was a very sad day. DO: When you go around the world or travel to places in the States, what messages do you give? KB: I have a few messages. One is that we are all neighbors-whether we live in America or West Africa, we are all neighbors. We live in a global community. We are all neighbors and God has called us to love our neighbors. Jesus said the two most important things in this life are to love God with your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. And that love for our neighbor ought to motivate us to have concern and to take action to help our neighbors in need. And in terms of Ebola, that means helping our West African neighbors trying to bring an end to this outbreak. That is one of the things I talk about the most.DO: Doc, let me take you back. How did you contract the Ebola disease?KB: I would never know. I really, I don’t know for sure. Initially the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), tried to do an investigation and tried to figure out and they came up with one idea but I was never quite convinced that was the right story…DO: What is the story?KB: I mean they just tried to figure out who I had contact with and who Nancy had contact with and there was one of our other co-worker, who also got Ebola and he died around the same time. I think I probably got it from a patient in the emergency room. Someone who came in with Ebola, but they thought at first that it was malaria or something else. I had to take care of the patients in the emergency room along with the staff here and in the emergency room. I think it was probably in one of those situations where I had made contact with the patient. Because of our work in the Ebola treatment Unit, we had all the proper equipment. We were following the right protocols. We were doing things appropriately. So I just had to guess that it was in the emergency room. DO: Do you still intend to practice as a Medical Doctor?KB: I do. You know once you are a doctor practicing medicine in the United States, they don’t want you to stay out of practice for too long, alright. So, I have started working a few shifts back at a hospital in America so that I can return to the practice of Clinical Medicine and someday, I will get back to it full time. But right now, I am doing it on the side as I continue to try to be a responsible steward of these opportunities to speak and remind people of the importance of loving our neighbors and helping West Africa beat Ebola. DO: After you survived the virus, did you have any post Ebola problems like some of the Ebola survivors here who are suffering from some medical conditions?KB: There is this problem called post-Ebola syndrome. It is a very real thing. It’s a problem that Ebola survivors have. Not everyone has it. Not everyone has the same problems. Some people have joint pains, muscle pains, eye problems, nerve pains… I am very thankful that I have made a full recovery and I don’t seem to have any of those problems. But we need to be helping the survivors who have those problems and there is a clinic here at ELWA to treat survivors. It should be publicized so that people know and can come here if they are Ebola survivors. They can come here to get care.DO: Lastly, if you are ever presented with the opportunity to come back to Liberia, are you going to come back?KB: Only God knows. We are praying for His guidance as we try to decide what to do next. Liberia has a very special place in our hearts. We are praying for guidance from God about what to do next.DO: Thank you so much, Sir.KB: Thank you.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Torrential Rains, Storm Leave Several Homeless in Nimba

first_imgOne of the damaged houses.Torrential rains accompanied by heavy storms left several families homeless in Nyor Diaplay Town, in the Buu-Yao Administrative District, near the Liberian/Ivorian border in Nimba County. The town is the largest of the seven towns in the Nyor belt, with a population estimated at over 2,000.The incident, which took place on Thursday, January 18 at about 11 p.m., destroyed 15 houses and swept away corrugated iron roofing sheets.One of the schools in the community was hard hit, leaving the principal’s office and the library roofless.Peter Gbahnzo, Nyor-Diaplay Town Chief, told the Daily Observer that those whose properties were destroyed by the storm are currently sleeping in public buildings, while some are lodged in the churches or with friends and relatives.“Many of the victims have moved to their villages for shelter,” Chief Gbahnzo told this newspaper.Up to press time last night, Chief Gbahnzo’s subjects were finding it very difficult, if not impossible, to cope with the situation, and therefore want speedy attention from the government and her partners.The storm on the night of Jan. 18 destroyed 15 houses and swept away their roofsSeveral properties including valuable personal belongings and other household items were destroyed, while items like clothes, mattresses, books, etc. are being exposed to the sun.Gibson Dearlee, a resident, said: “The storm blew away the roof of my house, so currently my family and I are sleeping on the farm, because we don’t have anywhere to seek refuge in the town.”Pointing at some of the damaged properties, he added: “See out there, all our personal belongings are soaked with  rain water, while my children’s copybooks and uniforms have remained trapped under the fallen wall.”Dearlee heads a 12-member family that lived with him in the four-room house. He said it will be very difficult for him to rebuild his house without any immediate external help.He is meanwhile appealing to the authorities of the Liberian National Red Cross Society and the country’s Disaster Relief Unit at the Ministry of Internal Affairs to come to the aid of those affected by the storm.One of the badly hit housesMost of the damaged houses were built with sun dried bricks; something that needs urgent and immediate renovation, before the coming of the rainy season, or else the remaining walls will collapse.“I lost my 20 bags of rice and my electronic set in the warehouse when the storm swept away the roof of my house,” said one of the victims.Despite the large scale destruction, there was no casualty reported, the town chief has said.“The storm occurred while many of the victims were already in bed, but we thank God that nobody got injured,” the chief added.The storm victims are all in need of government intervention so that they can reestablish their lives said the chief.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Newcastle ready to let go of in-demand midfielder Mikel Merino

first_img RANKED Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer Merino is valued at £10million by Newcastle By October, that move was made permanent after the Spaniard had played enough games to trigger a clause in the deal.Merino signed a five-year deal at the time, but his progress was halted by injury and Newcastle are ready to cash in on him this summer.Real Betis have already shown an interest in the midfielder, who is valued at around £10m. Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad have joined Real Betis in the race for Newcastle United midfielder Mikel Merino.The 21-year-old moved to St. James’ Park last summer from Borussia Dortmund and he initially joined on loan. Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti LIVING THE DREAM three-way race Latest transfer gossip on talkSPORT.com moving on Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star 1 But, according to Mundo Deportivo, Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad have thrown their hats into the ring too.The Spanish pair have been alerted to Merino’s availability and are ready to match any bid made by Betis.center_img Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ TOP WORK Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade targets targets Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? IN DEMAND LATEST REVEALED Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father Chelsea confident of beating Man United and Liverpool to Sancho signing last_img read more