The Governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Fashola, today September 18th, hosted some Ebola survivors at his office at the state Secretariat in Alausa, Ikeja.
Speaking with the survivors, the governor commended them for coming forward to share their experiences, saying that they are proof that the disease is not a death sentence.
The survivors in attendance included the widow of late Port Harcourt doctor, Dr Emenuo Kelechi (left), Dr Ibeawuchi Morris (second left), Dr Fadipe Akinniyi (centre), Mr. Dennis Akagha (late Nurse Justina Ejelonu’s fiance) and Dr Adaora Igonoh.
While sharing their experiences, one of the survivors and staff of First Consultant Hospital, Dr. Ibeabuchi Morris, said he was the first to receive late Sawyer at the hospital where he was first treated for Malaria.
He said after the patient continued to have high temperature, he took the blood sample and sent it to the laboratory, then contacted Dr. Stella Adadevoh who advised him to continue attending to the patient pending the arrival of the test result. He said when the blood result arrived it was confirmed that he was EVD positive. Sawyer died a few days later.
Dr. Ibeabuchi disclosed that he started manifesting symptoms of the disease 12 days later as his body temperature continued to rise beyond 38.5 degrees Celsius. He said when his condition continued to degenerate, he reported to the Lagos State Ministry of Health and was advised to restrict his contact with members of his family.
According to him, his body temperature got to an all time high of over 40 degrees at which point the Medical team from Lagos State came and took him to the isolation centre after decontaminating his house. He thanked the Lagos State Government and all the other agencies and individuals who took care of him and made it possible for him to survive.
Another survivor, Dr. Adaora Igonoh, thanked the Lagos State Governor and the Government for their dedication in the battle to contain the spread of the disease which, according to her, made it possible for some victims, including herself to survive the virus.
Dr. Igonoh, who is also a staff of First Consultants Hospital, commended the hospital and the staff for the risk they took to ensure that the disease did not spread beyond the limit it did. She also paid tribute to those who lost their lives, adding that without their sacrifice, the story would probably have been different.
Also giving his testimony, Mr. Dennis Akagha, fiancee to Justina Akagha, a nursing staff of First Consultants Hospital who died days after attending to Patrick Sawyer, said he got to hear about his fiancee’s contact with Sawyer when the death of the Liberian was announced on television. She later told him she’d treated Sawyer.
He said when the symptoms of the disease started manifesting in Justina, they first thought it was pregnancy induced or Malaria because she’d told him she wore protective gloves while attending to Sawyer. He said that on the 14th day, Justina’s condition worsened and he took her to First Consultants from where he was directed to the Isolation Centre in Yaba where she later passed on.
He disclosed that he did not immediately go to hospital when he started manifesting the symptoms until he started vomiting and feeling dehydrated. He said he was finally taken to the Isolation Centre where he was treated and discharged after he tested negative of the virus.
Other survivors who gave testimonies were Dr. Fadipe Akinniyi, also a staff of First Consultants Hospital and Dr. (Mrs.) Kelechi Emenuo, wife of late Dr. Emenuo, who treated one of Mr. Sawyer’s companions in Port Harcourt and later died of the disease.