“One day I came into the hospital and there was a patient dying in the hallway, with blood flowing everywhere. Staff and relatives were trying to help, but none were wearing gloves or the right kind of protection. I knew I had to do something. That was the moment when I stepped in and for the first time put on those protective suits.”
“Quite early on, a lot of the senior medics were infected and died. This had a pretty negative impact on the junior doctors, too. As things got worse and worse and as more and more doctors started dying and the number of patients just kept growing, I knew I had to help.”
“I spent a lot of time moving dead bodies and trying to reassure scared and upset patients, who believed it was all a foreign conspiracy. When the outbreak started in the summer of 2014, we kept thinking that the experts would come at some point and relieve us, but that never really happened.”
“By the time they did we had already become experts ourselves. We were so overwhelmed all the time. The speed at which Ebola transmits and kills is terrifying. One night I remember going into a ward of six and talking with them about their families and then saying goodnight to them all. The next morning when I went to check up on them, they were all dead.”
Oliver returned to England in 2015, when the virus was beginning to abate, and will be returning to the Democratic Republic of Congo later this year. He believes that the ebola virus has not been defeated, only suppressed.
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