A Family Of Ebola Fighters: ‘With God’s Help, We Made It’

They’re a family of survivors (from left): Ramatu Shellu, 8; Bindu Shellu, 44; Luqman Shellu, 10; Hassan Shellu, 22; Reuben Shellu, 43; and Kadija Shellu, 7, pose at their family home in Monrovia. Not pictured: Sekou Shellu, 24, who was working out of town when this picture was taken. – Ashoka Mukpo for NPR

Three years ago, Liberia was in the opening act of an unfolding catastrophe. The first cases of Ebola had been confirmed in the country on March 30, 2014. Over the next months, the virus spread, largely undetected at first. By late summer, every day the country awoke to news of dying Liberians being turned away from treatment or of families ripped apart by the virus. Uncertainty and fear swirled in the streets of Monrovia.

But on the afternoon of Sept. 11 that year, amid the chaos, there was a quiet pocket of joy.

It was at the Ebola Treatment Unit called “ELWA2,” on the outskirts of the city. The unit, a small concrete building initially intended to be a cafeteria and laundromat, was run by Jerry Brown, a Liberian doctor who would later appear on the cover of Time magazine as an “Ebola fighter.”

During a break in the rains, three small children walked along the gravel path leading away from the unit, draped in ill-fitting clothing and followed by two young men and a man and woman in their 40s.

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Source: News Now/Ashoka Mukpo for NPR

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About Cholo Brooks 13213 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.