“Your Blood Tested Positive for Ebola. I Am Sorry.” ―Dr. Ada Igonoh ( Gatesnotes)

15 Nov

” I still believe in miracles. None of us in the isolation ward was given any experimental drugs or so-called immune boosters. I was full of faith, yet pragmatic enough to consume as much ORS as I could, even when I wanted to give up and throw the bottles away. I researched on the disease extensively and read accounts of the survivors. I believed that even if the mortality rate was 99 percent, I would be part of the 1 percent who would survive. ”

―Dr. Ada Igonoh (“Your Blood Tested Positive for Ebola. I Am Sorry.”, Gatesnotes The blog of Bill Gates)

I was not feeling well and resolved to add yoga to my routine. My mother told me to visit doctor. My friendly doctor advised me a course and suggested life style changes. Iam regular with exercise ( walk/run/Bike). Once in a while stress takes a toll on immunity. My struggles are nondescript and trivial compared to heart wrenching  account of Ebola survivor Dr. Ada Igonoh which appeared in Billgates blog ” Gatesnotes”  titled ” “Your Blood Tested Positive for Ebola. I Am Sorry.”

In my early twenties remember reading a stunning book ” My Own Country” by Dr. Abraham Verghese which was a account of a physician’s experiences with a HIV patient. That book had left a  impact on me. I no longer have a copy.  About this true piece by Dr. Ada Igonoh , Bill Gates writes :

” Once in a while, you read something that’s so compelling, you want to share it with everyone you can. Dr. Ada Igonoh’s story had that effect on me.

Dr. Igonoh is a physician in Lagos, Nigeria, where she helped care for Patrick Sawyer, the patient who introduced Ebola into Nigeria in July. After coming down with the deadly virus herself, she spent two harrowing weeks getting treatment in isolation wards.

When I met her at a conference in New Orleans last week, Dr. Igonoh handed me a written account of her experience. Even knowing she was going to be okay, I couldn’t stop reading—I had to know what happened next. Her optimism was inspiring. Her story also gave me a deeper appreciation for all the health workers who are heroically caring for patients and trying to stop this epidemic. And it is a good reminder of the way uncertainty reigns in the early days of an epidemic. The world’s response since then has been remarkable, and Nigeria has now been certified free of Ebola.

I want to thank Dr. Igonoh for her courage, and for agreeing to let me share her story here. It is well worth your time to read it.”

— Bill Gates

I always feel developing countries are vulnerable to epidemic diseases and concept of public health  is near non existent. I was deeply pained and ashamed at news reports of death of ten women in rural north India in a sterilzation camp . Public health is not a priority. It is pretty shameful to talk about development  when basic health is not available to a vast population. Bill and melinda Gates foundation are doing great service to humanity with thier contribution in health and devlopment.

This is a story of great courage and human will against insurmountable odds. It’s also a testament of great service of health care workers and their sacrifices. I read this piece yesterday and it moved me immensely. It is also a struggle of hope, medical science and prayer. Prayer and hope seems to be a tonic in grave situations. It’s perhap’s all you have. I have greatest respect for doctors. I had doctor friends. Their work hours are sometimes inhuman.  48hrs at a strech remember my friend telling me once. Infact in my early years doctors were my heroes. Dr. Ada Igonoh is a hero of highest order.

To quote from the piece :

” I read that Dr. Kent Brantly, the American doctor who contracted Ebola in Liberia and was flown out to the United States for treatment was being criticized for attributing his healing to God when he was given the experimental drug, Zmapp. I don’t claim to have all the answers to the nagging questions of life. Why do some die and some survive? Why do bad things happen to good people? Where is God in the midst of pain and suffering? Where does science end and God begin? These are issues we may never fully comprehend on this side of eternity. All I know is that I walked through the valley of the shadow of death and came out unscathed. ”

―Dr. Ada Igonoh

This is a super inspirational account of ” Never giving up”. This is not for faint hearted. We never know outcome of a struggle. We must though never give up. Add a dash of prayer. Never ever give up.

Never give up friends! This is a story of great survival.

Hope you have a nice sunday!

Thank you!




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