By: Krystle Crossman
In Liberia a 23 year old woman named Fatu Kekula watched as her entire family suffered through Ebola. There was a shortage of doctors and so she took action all on her own. She wrapped herself in garbage bags, wore a medical mask, and took care of her father, mother, sister and her cousin. Her cousin was the only one who passed away. She managed to save her three other family members on her own. Kekula had been studying to become a nurse and was only a year away from her degree when the Ebola outbreak struck her country.
Her story spread and she was praised for her heroic actions. People were so taken with her fighting spirit that donations came pouring in for her to be able to attend nursing school here in the US. She is now with Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Her teachers state that she is a wonderful student and has actually taught her instructors how to treat patients efficiently while using materials that cost much less. She said that she was extremely grateful for all of the interest that people took in her story. She hadn’t been able to get her degree in Liberia after the outbreak was over because all of the schools closed.
The associate dean of Emory University, David Smith, said that they were impressed with her skills and knowledge. He stated that they could tell that she was an amazingly smart woman as she treated the same number of Ebola patients that Emory had with one major difference. Emory had millions of dollars of tools and equipment to treat their patients. Kekula had nothing but advice from doctors over the phone and whatever she could find around the house to use as equipment. Kekula will be graduating from the nursing program in August and is planning to head back to Liberia. She hopes to bring with her knowledge that she can teach other nurses in the country in the hopes that they will be able to treat all of their patients as effectively as possible with the materials that they have.