Via FrontPageAfrica, a remarkable account by Mohammed Sheriff, who fell ill late in July: ‘It Was Hard to Believe - Ebola Is Real’: Survivor Narrates Ordeal. Excerpt:
Upon arrival in Foya, Sherriff said a foreign Doctor came to their Ambulance, sprayed it and after spraying it he was brought out along with other patients. He said blood samples were taken and it was confirmed that he had the deadly Ebola virus, but he added that he was still in denial.
“I was even vex, I said I am going, I don’t have Ebola, I don’t have Ebola, how can I get Ebola?,” said Sheriff. “The white doctor in charge at that moment tried to calm me and said to me; ‘I will not tell a lie about you, you have Ebola, and the way you vex like this you want to go, if I say go, if you go, thousands of people will die behind you. If anyone touch you the person will get it, if you touch anybody, that person will get it so don’t go.’’ Sheriff said he insisted on leaving and the doctor advised him to stay.
In the ward
He stated that at the center he was being treated, there were four persons to a room and many Ebola patients just like him were at times seen lying helplessly and very weak. Mr. Sheriff said he was terrified that some mornings, when he woke up and looked around him, he would only notice that he was sleeping between corpses.
“You can’t help your friend, sometimes you wake up you lying down between two dead bodies. Sometimes if you are not satisfied, you just start hauling your mattress and the next place you are going you will meet another dead body there,” Sheriff said.
He said sometimes he noticed that patients are not themselves because of the food and medication they provide to them. He said he did not like the food the hospital provided was giving but had no choice. At one point he demanded the doctors to allow his sister bring food for him but that was not allowed.
“They can cook, and the medicine they give and the food comes late, so I will tell them it was not in place,” he said. “The eating hour, if you can give me medicine three times a day, three times a night and then you bring me food at 3:00PM it can be difficult. The food is enough, but is not in place.”
"During food distribution, everybody form a line waiting to catch their food, - food is sprayed and thrown into plastic in the air, so those who are strong can catch and help the weak ones to catch theirs because there was a boundary between us.”
He said the medication provided was good and the minimum tablet a sick person takes is six per hour and per day he took about 20 tablets in 24hours. “People go to Foya after the tests are conducted the Ebola patients are confirmed and the non Ebola patients are treated and later referred to other hospitals,” he said.
Render service in community
According to him the doctors certificated him because he tested negative for the disease repeatedly. “The doctor said to me, the medicine has certified you and you are to go out to the society to help,” he said. Mr. Sheriff said he wants to volunteer his service to the fight against Ebola.
“In case someone dies in the community, we can be available and protected to go out and help take care of that person who has died instead of waiting for the medical team. The people who are taking care are dressed fearfully, which alone tells that the sickness is bad, so if I am to help I should be dressed the same way in order to help someone in the community.”