Via VOA News: Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving. Click through for the full report and a video. Excerpt:
Beatrice Yardolo's new designation as Liberia's "almost-last Ebola patient" is compelling, too, a reminder that Liberia has to remain vigilant.
Her own illness started with Steve, her 32-year-old son, who worked at an Ebola treatment center. One day after work in January, when he had already removed his protective suit, he helped a sick woman who had just arrived at the hospital get out of a car.
A month later, her son Elijah was dead and so were two of his siblings. And Yardolo herself came down with the virus.
"If he had not touched that woman with his naked hands, he wouldn’t have gotten sick," Yardolo said of son Steve. "But because he got sick, his sister, his brother, all went around him and touched him. And ... they, too, got into problem. And some of them had to die."
"I’m just grateful to the almighty God for preserving my life," she continued. "Though our children have gone, we’re still grieving. But we try gradually to overcome it. We’re trying to overcome the pain, the sorrow and whatsoever."
Since the outbreak began in West Africa last year, Ebola has killed more than 10,000 people. Liberia was hardest hit, with nearly 4,300 deaths out of just over 9,500 cases.
Ebola not only has shattered families like the Yardolos, it has devastated Liberia’s economy, with businesses and trade shut down and the health care system overloaded.
Now, as the infection rate closes in on zero, the government is preparing for a transition so it can resume the development path it was on prior to the Ebola crisis.