Nigeria and West Africa has been in the global news since February this year. It is now in the lips of everyone that Ebola virus, the Zaire most deadly has ‘broken’ into the country. Nigeria’s first outbreak was recorded through a Liberian-American Diplomat, Patrick Sawyer on July 25, 2014. Since then several cases had been discovered. Many have been traced to the index person. Through first and secondary contacts, many had been quarantined and left off the hook while a few had died.
For most of us in Nigeria, Dr Ameyo Adadevoh had become a national heroine who sacrificed her own life to save Millions of Nigerians who could have been infected through an embittered victim from Liberia. Aside from this, many of us had also heard of people who had been quarantined and discharged after they discovered they were negative.
But the story of one Dr Ada Igonoh, A medical doctor with First Consultants Hospital where the index person was treated before he died, had gone viral and almost everyone had gone through her near death experience. Dr Ada Igonoh had a primary contact with the patient like other colleagues in the hospital which include a Consultant, Nurses, Ward maid among others. For those who care and had not read her story, you can check here.
Before we proceed, we will like to say this is not a professional medical or legal advice on how to survive Ebola as the author will not be responsible for any legal action from anyone who follows this and eventually died. It is our take away from the story (above) we first recommend you read first. The application of this advice is done in good faith and nothing more.
Strong will to live: there had been cases of people who survived terrible diseases which had killed many in their generation. What is common to all in all their stories of survivor is a strong will to live. Fear kills many people than the reality itself. From the point Dr Ada Igonoh was informed of her condition, what one noticed from her story was her confession, determination to live and survive. Even when death stared at her face and other colleagues died in her presence. she kept her strong will. For most people, this had worked but even if it fails, you have nothing to lose.
Early detection and treatment: In a case like Ebola or any other strange diseases, early detection and willingness to surrender, acknowledge the situation will help in no small way. It is better to first acknowledge the reality, report to relevant authority but along the line resolve to keep your strong will to live. Acknowledging the fact does not hurt, losing the strong will to live often leads to more damage.
Follow care givers instructions: Dr Ada Igonoh is a trained Medical Doctor. Yet she was willing to follow experts’ instruction without wavering in her resolve to live. According to her, the lead Doctor told her, “her survival depended on her following medical instructions”. She was told to drink about 4.5litres ORs daily at least. She initially planned to stop the stooling on her own by using a known drug but she was advised against such. Even as medical doctor, she followed her care giver’s instruction. We died early when we think we know better than everyone.
Tune in to inner and higher Powers if you can and know how: In the time of trouble, we often realise the need for an inner or higher power which can do the impossible. For those who serve God, it is most appropriate to look at their creator and hold on to such higher power for a miraculous escape. For those who believe in Nature, it is also good to seek the nature’s help. You have nothing to lose whether or not it works.
Family and inner circle support: I have since discovered the support of family, friends and other inner circle help a patient to recover faster. I do recognize this better than some of my readers. I have been on 5- 9hour surgery more than thrice and I did know how support of one’s personal inner circle can help in recovery. Dr Ada had the support and encouragement of all that matters to her from her parent, Husband, her chief medical Director, Pastor, church members among many others. They kept calling her and sending text messages even when they cannot have physical contact with her.
Read and be informed: There is nothing you cannot do personal research on in this age and time. Read widely on the issue. Dr Ada Igonoh took time in her isolation to be informed about every single detail. She knew the numbers of days a patient is supposed to live before one dies after being infected. She kept hoping she will out lived the days. Information helps. I also have a personal experience here. Between 2004 and 2005, I was wrongly diagnosed of having problem with my heart. It was a hard time as the consultant I was initially seeing then was so sure I had symptoms.
I read so much about heart conditions, failure etc then even though I was attending his clinic and buying expensive drugs from him. Later i decided to change consultant to a teaching hospital outside Lagos. Most of the resident doctors in the Teaching Hospital I changed to kept asking if I have ever been to medical school. In most cases the new consultant asked them to use higher medical terminologies so that I would not be able to follow their conversation. Eventually, after series of tests, I was placed on Vitamin C and lots of Counselling for a month and since then i was free.
The morale of this, it is possible if we think so. Even if the negative happens, we have lost nothing.