When Patrick Sawyer took his sister, Princ
ess who was bleeding profusely to the St. Joseph Catholic hospital, healthcare workers ran to the rescue, but this hospitality led to the trail of death from the deadly Ebola Virus that no one ever imagined could possibly happen, with up to six deaths now in Liberia and two in Nigeria including an ECOWAS Protocol officer.
Shocking news, trails of death, the St. The Joseph Catholic hospital is now a ghost town with the entire staff evacuated and some still counting days at isolation centers hoping for a miracle to recover. Since last week there has been news of deaths emanating from the Hospital. The first was the Hospital’s Chief Administrator Patrick Nshamdze, 52, from Cameroon who died on August 2, 2014 after contracting the deadly Ebola virus then followed more deaths.
Six persons have now died from the hospital, including a Spanish priest who died on Tuesday after being airlifted to Spain for treatment, after contracting the deadly virus disease. Three women’s health-workers, including a Congolese nun have died and one medical doctor from the hospital.
But the death trail is even more shocking as all points to one person. On a fateful day in early July, a lady known as Princess, who happened to be the sister of a senior Liberian Finance Ministry official, was brought in to the hospital, escorted by her brother Patrick Sawyer. The woman was bleeding profusely and every other health worker was afraid to touch her as news of the deadly Ebola outbreak had already spread according to sources.
Initial report points to miscarriage
A FrontPageAfrica’s investigation has found that due to the refusal of the health workers to promptly attend to the sick woman the late Nshamdze, who was chief administrator at the hospital decided to help care for the woman. Sources say he attended to the sick woman and convinced other health workers that the case was purely signs of a miscarriage and encouraged the other doctor to carry out a certified abortion procedure.
Sources informed FrontPageAfrica that despite the procedure, the bleeding did not stop and the woman died. Several persons who came in contact with the woman, sister of Sawyer still did not suspect that something was wrong, then exactly 18 days after her death, came the news of her brother’s death. Patrick Sawyer left Liberia to attend an ECOWAS Conference in Nigeria and he also started showing symptoms of the deadly virus and on August 25, he was pronounced dead by Nigerian authorities. In Nigeria, a total of thirteen cases has been reported as a result of the Ebola virus, with two deaths.
Sawyer’s death created tremors in Liberia and people in high places found it difficult to believe. But the situation with how Sawyer left Liberia remains shrouded in controversy. Yet the repercussion of his trip to the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital is still being felt.
Sources say following the Sawyers death health workers at the hospital began to show signs of the deadly virus, but denial again reigned. Sources say when the healthcare workers at the hospital began to notice that Brother Nshamdze was showing signs of the disease, they admonished him to do a test to find out whether he had the virus, since in fact he had come in contact with the Sawyers.
But he was also in denial and because of that, did not show the true outcome of the first test that came out positive. But, how a negative result was pronounced that came back two weeks later as positive is still a puzzle that Liberians are trying to piece together.
Ebola death roll
Sources tell FrontPageAfrica that after the result came back negative, the Catholic brother told his colleagues that all was well and they kept caring for him because they felt he was suffering from a heart disease that was his known medical condition. It was when a second test was done on him that came out positive after he tried to leave the country while critically ill did his colleagues begin to cut off contact with him but it was too late. He died on August 2, 2014 and the death roll continued after that.
A Congolese nun who worked with Spanish Catholic missionaries and also worked with Nshamdze died of Ebola on Saturday and was buried. Chantal Pascaline died early Saturday “due to Ebola at the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital in Monrovia,” the Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God said in a statement. A few days later the Spanish priest Miguel Pajares, 75, who was airlifted back to Spain last week with a nun who tested negative for the virus died on Tuesday.
The St. The Joseph’s Catholic Hospital and the Catholic Church were badly hit by the deadly virus and the hospital was forced to close as five other religious brothers with the virus have been quarantined, including two members of the Order of St. John of God and three Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. The clock continued to tick and more deaths continue to be reported from the hospital.
Tears for negligence
Someone who works with the Ebola response team posted in frustration on their Facebook page shed more light on the situation at the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital.
“I stood with my tracers and watched the ambulance team transferring two of the Catholic Sisters from their St. Joseph Catholic Hospital Compound. As the two innocent young Nuns from the Democratic Republic of Congo mounted the ambulance to be taken to the treatment unit at the ELWA, I shed tears. I shed tears because we could have prevented them from contracting this deadly disease,” stated the person only identified as Mosoka.
“They had trusted us and our ability to manage the Ebola response; we cause all of them to be infected. After serving this country for over 40 years and saving thousands of lives, is this the way we could repay them. As the ambulance made its way out of the deserted hospital with the first badge of two nuns, I became too overwhelmed with sorrow. The ambulance was returning for four of them, including a medical doctor. How could we have disappointed them.”
Mosoka’s account states that three weeks ago, the hospital’s administrator who died was a contract until he started showing symptoms and the laboratory had taken his specimen and his result was negative.
“Based on this result, the other sisters and brothers decided to nurse him back to health. Despite their treatment, he progressively began to show signs and symptoms that were typical of Ebola. He decided that he would leave for his home country, but the airline recognizing the signs, symptoms and ask for a repeat of the test. Behold! This came back positive,” states Mosoka.
The sisters, brothers and doctors who treated him were in a state of shock and dismay. Brother Patrick was kept in one room of the hospital for treatment. The confidence of the brothers and sister in our Ebola response system was seriously corroded. Brother Patrick became weaker and weaker and others stopped coming around as they pondered over their own status. Then Brother Patrick died. His body was among the 52 bodies that were buried in a mass grave one-weekend ago. Then the sisters and brothers as well three of the Liberian health care workers (including a laboratory technician, a social worker and a nurse) started getting sick. In all seven of them became positive for Ebola.”
Ordered for New Results
The statement notes that one of them, a Nigerian Medical doctor, was told he was negative, however, he contended that every symptom in his body indicated to him that he too had contracted the disease. “We then ordered for a new result. We are awaiting this result, but he is getting sicker and sicker each day,” states Mosoka.
Through one pair of siblings, a disease that has no cure has spread beyond borders and has claimed the lives of Liberians, Spaniards, Cameroonians, Nigerians, Ugandan and a Congolese. The Ebola trail of death from the Sawyer’s has extended to Nigeria with two deaths now reported, including an ECOWAS protocol officer who received and helped convey Sawyer to hospital in Lagos passed away of the Ebola, according to an ECOWAS official.
The global trend the disease is taking has led governments like that United States to be on high alert. A U.S. State Department release early Tuesday evening stated the US is working with the World Health Organization and other international partners to help West African governments respond to and contain the outbreak of the Ebola virus as quickly as possible.
“The full range of relevant U.S. Government agencies — including the Department of State, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Department of Defense (DOD) — are increasing every possible form of assistance to the affected countries, their citizens and international organizations responding to the outbreak,” states the release.
The State Department stated that U.S. assistance includes equipment and other essential supplies, public health messaging efforts, and technical and medical expertise. It states that the U.S. Department of State issued a Travel Warning on August 7, 2014 against non-essential travel to Liberia and that due to a lack of options for routine health care services, the Department of State ordered the departure of family members residing with Embassy staff in Monrovia to begin August 8, 2014.
But the State Department clarified that U.S. Government employees in Liberia will remain on active duty at the Embassy and additional staff members are being deployed to assist the Government of Liberia in addressing the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak.
“At this time, no Ebola-related travel restrictions have been issued by the State Department for Guinea, Nigeria, or Sierra Leone. However, CDC has issued alerts for the four countries. More information can be found at: Guinea (Warning – Level 3), Liberia (Warning – Level 3), Sierra Leone (Warning – Level 3), Nigeria (Alert – Level 2).”
U.S. Still Deeply Committed
It states that its Embassies remain open and will continue business as usual in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. “We remain deeply committed to supporting regional and international efforts to deliver health care as well as contain and control the transmission of the Ebola virus,” states the release.
The U.S. Government is monitoring the situation very closely and will update its response and travel recommendations as needed. The U.S. Government has a range of steps in place to prevent the introduction, transmission and spread of suspected communicable diseases across the U.S. border. We’re working closely across federal agencies and with African partners to make sure appropriate procedures are in place for screening both in the region and here in the United States.”
The U.S. says, as the Center for Disease Control has stated repeatedly, there is no significant risk to the United States from Ebola. The WHO states that new cases and deaths attributable to EVD continue to be reported by the Ministries of Health in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. The WHO states that between 7 and 9 August 2014, 69 new cases (laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases) of EVD and 52 deaths were reported from the four countries as follows: Guinea, 11 new cases and 6 deaths; Liberia, 45 new cases and 29 deaths; Nigeria, 0 new cases and 0 deaths; and Sierra Leone, 13 new cases and 17 deaths. In Nigeria, WHO and the Nigerian Ministry of Health reported 13 suspect cases, including 2 fatal cases, as of August 9, 2014.