Vandy Jawad 7, is a reminder of hope and survival in an otherwise deeply tragic situation. He was in the treatment centre at Kenema for more than one month after contracting the virus in Daru village about 40 km out of Kenema town, and one of the worst affected communities in Sierra Leone. According to nurses, he displayed some very serious symptoms when first admitted,and they didn’t believe he will survive
Vandy started showing signs of recovery a couple of weeks ago slowly gathering his strength. When he finally achieved a negative test result, which revealed there was no more Ebola virus in his system, it was time for him to go home.
Many of those contracting the virus are themselves health workers who come in daily contact with very sick patients. Among the staff infected is survivor Fatmata Sesay who was released from the ward along with her 11-year-old daughter Tata. Fatmata spent three weeks in the ward while Tata was there for two
Before patients leave the ward, they are presented with transport money to get home (about US$10), a clean set of clothes, and a certificate declaring that they are healthy and no longer have Ebola. They are photographed and congratulated by staff, and in humble way, celebrated for their resilience.