Tuesday, 23 September 2014


This is Umar. Umar is from Sierra Leone. He was one of my patients in the hospital for some months, back in 2011. He stayed for such a long time that when I was allocating nurses their patients for the next shift, (he would be sitting on my lap) he would pick his favourite nurse to be his.
One day after we had been up on deck 7, as I gathered the patients, two boys, Umar and Amara grabbed one of my hands each to walk downstairs. Umar looked up at me and called me Mum. He had his own Grandma as his mother, but he had decided to call me Mum and that is what he called me until the day he discharged. It caught on and all the other kids and even some adults called me Mum for the rest of their hospital stay. Oh how they planted themselves so deeply in my heart.
When I think of the Ebola Virus Disease ripping through their country, destroying their families and maybe even my children who called me Mum, my face contorts with pain and tears begin to fall. My body racks with sobs for the pain this country is suffering. An unseen, deadly virus, stripping the country of their community love, as people are isolated and unable to be touched as their bodies fight a virus disease the world has never seen on this scale.

How desperately I wish I could be in Sierra Leone, not only fighting this virus but checking for those that I still carry in my heart. When the ship sails away from a country and I leave behind beloved patients, I know I leave them in God's hands. Who could be more reliable?! But how desperately I wish I could know they are ok! I long for the day I can stand face to face with them in heaven and speak to them in the same language.

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