*I am sure there are no easy answers to the question raised in the title of this article. The 800 lives already taken by the disease, not including the two health care professionals who lost their lives in the process of caring for the victims, continues to create hysteria in the wake of anyone showing any sign of symptoms. It is with cautious anticipation that we can see what appears to be some hope on the horizon, as two Americans with the infection was flown in from Liberia over the past week and is being treated with a “secret serum” that will hopefully help them successfully combat the deadly virus.
Such a serum did not even exist before so…
EURThisNthat recently wrote the story of Patrick Sawyer, a Minnesota resident who was taken off of a flight in Lagos, Nigeria, after showing symptoms of the infection. Sawyer, 40, sparked international fear as it was learned he was to connect with a flight back to the States to celebrate the birthday of his daughter; but he died of Ebola before his plans were completed.
Nathaniel Dennis, 24, didn’t die of Ebola, but the fear inflamed by the rapidly spreading disease certainly contributed to his death, as his older sister, Natasha Dennis, tells The Root.
“The first case of Ebola was in February, March. Why wasn’t it more contained then? What happened to the education of the people to make it get to this point right now? My brother, he’s still a victim of Ebola, but he’s a victim of the hysteria it caused,” says Dennis, 27, who lives in California.
Nathaniel, a music lover, had gone to visit his mother, Precious Dennis, who works as an educator, in Liberia. He decided to stay in Liberia once the trip was over because he had found a job at a local radio station. After about a month, on July 24, his mother awakened to find her youngest son comatose on his bedroom floor, his body stiff and his eyes rolled back, Natasha Dennis said. His room was in disarray.
“That’s when the Ebola outbreak started getting really big; of course, any time anyone’s sick they have to confirm that it’s not Ebola, so they put him in quarantine right away and he was there for three days just being treated for Ebola. All his tests came back negative,” Dennis explains. “So at this point we’re calling the embassy, we’re trying to get him out, everyone’s telling me that they’re not flying into Liberia at this time, no one can help us, there’s nothing they can do, things like that.”
But Natasha says when her brother was released from quarantine, the family tried to get him evacuated to Ghana because he would have been able to get the proper help – he only needed a respirator and dialysis machine – but, perhaps out of fear, Ghana would not have him. Plus, they had closed the borders to Liberia.
“My poor brother, he lasted a week,” Dennis says. “And at the end, he just needed a ventilator to keep him breathing, to help him, and they didn’t have that.”
Nathaniel Dennis died on July 30, with a doctor telling the family that the cause was kidney failure. The family’s frustration did not end there, however.
“What we still don’t understand is that the next day after my brother passed, (July 30), they sent a plane to go get these doctors that do have Ebola, and I think that’s the most frustrating part for us. We can’t understand,” the grieving big sister tells The Root.
“Everyone knew he was an American citizen, he obviously needed help … he was in a coma, he obviously needed to see a doctor immediately, and for that to not have happened, or someone to help make that happen, is ridiculous, and then they send for two American citizens that do have Ebola. It doesn’t make any sense,” Natasha Dennis says.
Read more of this story at The Root.