‘My mother would have forgiven Sawyer’
One year after, son, Nigerians remember, eulogise Ebola Heroine,’ Ameyo Adadevoh
THE quiet ambience characteristic of First Consultant Hospital, Obalende, Lagos, which treated the index Ebola case, Patrick Sawyer, an American-Liberian, who arrived in Nigeria on July 25, was still evident when The Guardian visited yesterday.
There was, however, evidence of nostalgic feeling at the hospital, which lost two of its own, a consultant physician and endocrinologist, Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh, and a nurse, Justina Ejelonu.
Adadevoh died on August 19, 2014 after contracting the disease in an attempt to keep Sawyer confined to the hospital. According to a resident in the area, who sought anonymity, things are no longer the same again with the hospital, which played a central role in saving Nigeria from the Ebola epidemic.
At the centre of that role was Adadevoh, who against threats of legal action by the Liberian Ambassador, restrained Sawyer from leaving the hospital.
Adadevoh’s singular heroic and selfless deed averted what could have been a catastrophic epidemic. Although, the disease later infected 21 persons and claimed nine lives, Nigeria was able to contain the disease and was declared Ebola-free on October 20, 2014.
When the first memorial anniversary of Adadevoh came up on August 19, it was an outpouring of emotions, love and prayers for the departed soul.
Some of the messages read: “Once upon a time, Nigerians awaited this Ebola-free countdown. We are grateful to Dr. Stella Adadevoh. “Dr. Stella Adadevoh did a deed so selfless and kind.
I’m forever grateful to her for saving Nigeria from a mass Ebola outbreak. RIP, heroine. “Brave Doctor Adadevoh loses Ebola battle. ‘How Ameyo Adadevoh saved the country from Ebola epidemic. “You will never be forgotten.
A true hero, I celebrate you. “Rest in peace brave woman, you and all who lost their lives during this fight are heroes.” Also, to immortalise her and address the gaps in the nation’s health sector, her son, Bankole Cardoso, and family have launched the Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh Health Trust.
The non-governmental organisation (NGO) is focused on strengthening the medicare system and making Nigeria better prepared for future public health threats.
The trust is governed by a seven-member Board of Trustees and a four-member international Board of Advisers and will focus on four important health areas: Education and Training, Policy, Research and Disease Control.
To also commemorate her first memorial anniversary, a movie entitled 93 Days, on the true-life story of men and women who risked their lives and made sacrifices to save us all from the consequences of the outbreak of the dreaded Virus has been shot.
It is a compelling human story of dedication, sacrifice, resilience and survival. Cardoso, who is the Global Head of Communications, Africa Internet Group, in recent media chat, said his late mother taught him how to be incredibly strong and get things done.
He was quoted as saying: “I was angry at Patrick Sawyer, at God and at many things. But one had to channel it into something positive like the Health Trust. And that’s what I’m dedicated to and focused on now, full time.
Like we would always say, if my mother were here now, she would have forgiven him (Sawyer). I can never forget what happened; it’s going to be a part of my life forever, but I forgive him. My dad also feels the same way.”
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