SIERRA LEONE -
SURVIVING EBOLA TO BECOME A DOCTOR
Every challenge encountered is an opportunity; every pain experienced, every chance that is forced to be lost. Future healthcare professionals who want to bring innovation to the health sector to the fullest.
'One day I will be a doctor because Ebola caught me. In
September 2014, I got ill and I was transferred to the treatment center. They took care of me and as I was getting well, they discharged from the treatment center. I came home and I made my mind that one day I will be a doctor, because they helped me when I was ill. I too want to help people when they are ill, and also children who are dying from other disease, so I will help them as people helped me.'
- Michael Blango (14)
In Sierra Leone, a young boy named Michael lived a happy and carefree life. He spent most of his days playing soccer with his friends, helping his parents tend to their farm- until the death hit his country.
But one day, everything changed. The deadly Ebola virus arrived in Sierra Leone, and soon the village was plunged into chaos. People were falling ill and dying at an alarming rate, and no one knew how to stop the disease from spreading.
Michael's own family was not immune to the virus. His parents and siblings all fell ill, and Michael himself was not feeling well. He knew something was wrong, but he was too scared to go to the local clinic for fear of being separated from his family.
But eventually, his condition worsened, and he was taken to the clinic. There, he was diagnosed with Ebola and placed in quarantine. He watched in horror as many of his fellow patients died, and he knew that his own chances of survival were slim.
But somehow, against all odds, Michael pulled through. He was one of the lucky ones, and he knew that he had been given a second chance at life for a reason.
From that day on, Michael was determined to become a doctor. He wanted to help people like himself who had been affected by diseases like Ebola. He knew that he had a unique perspective, having experienced the disease firsthand, and he was convinced that he could make a difference.
Despite the odds stacked against him, Michael was determined to help his community.
'I will be an excellent doctor because I will go to school and I will study hard, I
will get my qualifications to be a good doctor. When I was discharged and when
school reopened, I wasn’t able to go to school but some organizations helped us,
they gave us some money and also a uniform for me to go to school. On the first
day I went to school, nobody talked to me, I was alone, by myself, and then the
next day when I came home, I told my auntie I never want to go to school, but she
talked to me, and she told me to do my work and to still continue to go to school.
Some social organizations came to sensitize my friends and other people, and
then they started talking to me again. And now it is better: me and many people,
we talk, we play and we laugh now. They consider me a hero because I survived
the disease. I am very happy I have survived.'