March 26, 2015
…The sidelights of an Ebola survivor treatment experience from Chinese military medical aiding team in Sierra Leone
“Hi, how are you, can you recognize me?” Dr. Huijuan Duan, Deputy Clinical Director of the Chinese medical team in Sierra Leone was joking to a young man who just came out from the main exit of the Jui Ebola Treatment Center’s SCU on 2nd March.
“Sorry, I don’t know you, I think this is the first time we are meeting,” Timoxi said.
“I was the one who looked like a robot with PPE, mask and face shielded that accompanied you all the time during the last 21 terrible days,” Dr. Duan replied smiling. Suddenly, Timoxi was enlightened and murmured repeatedly, “Thank you, thank you”. He was too emotional to say more words.
An ambulance transferred Timoxi to the Jui Ebola Treatment Center on 2 February. He was in a very critical condition and extremely feeble at admission. And he was tested positive with Ebola infection on the same evening.
“Time means the hope to survive; we must do our level best to treat him without the slightest slack! No mistake, no excuse,” commanded the team leader, Colonel Shoulong Chen.
From then on, 24 hours monitoring and observation of the state of illness, timely updated treatment regimen and care plan were given to Timoxi constantly. One week passed by, there was no obvious improvement, Timoxi still felt bad, and he was a little bit depressed: “Doctor, is there any hope of me recovering from Ebola?”
“Don’t worry, we are working on defeating Ebola, we are along with you. You will get better day by day, you will be OK,” he responded. Dr. Duan was not only in charge of Timoxi’s clinical treatment, but also paid more attention to explaining what Ebola virus disease is. He also does intensive psychological counseling to every Ebola patient at the Jui Ebola Treatment Center. He delivered spiritual encouragement and psychological support to Timoxi, helped him being confidence of surviving the Ebola disease.
During the 21 days duration, Timoxi had been tested several times for Ebola, “The virus loading from strong positive to positive, then weakly positive to negative,” Dr. Duan described. “Even Timoxi was out of danger since 22 February. His was still symptomatic and presented with Ebola viruspositive. We had been worrying about him until he got a negative test result. Average duration time for Ebola survivors was 10 more days, but Timoxi’s hospital time was much longer due to his extremely severe illness. It was very hard to cure him, luckily, we won at the end.”
With the endeavour of the whole team (including Chinese and native health care workers) and hard work, finally, Timoxi recovered and was discharged. All staff at the Friendship Hospital were happy for him, they all came to say good bye to Timoxi in front of the Jui Ebola Treatment Center exit.
Chinese doctors and nurses gave many kind gifts to Timoxi to encourage him start a new life after Ebola. Beaming with happiness and smiles, Timoxi felt very happy, and he greatly appreciated the medical workers at the Jui Treatment Center: “Thank you my respectful doctors, God bless you.”