| May 13, 2015
Little Anthony in Polay Town, Liberia.
Failing to hide Ebola's deadly heartbreak
The Sackors were just an average family of five in Polay Town, Liberia. Dioxin and his wife were thrilled to have three healthy, happy children.
Suddenly, Ebola struck West Africa with vicious force.
Even though cases were increasing across Liberia, they felt reasonably safe- while Ebola was creeping in surrounding regions, their town had been completely case-free.
Then, in October, 5-year-old Ramsey began showing symptoms of the deadly disease.
Although the town still had no reported cases, his grandmother feared the worst. At first – as was typical in the community – his parents refused to divulge the nature of his condition and didn't seek treatment.
Tragically, his grandmother was right: Ramsey was the first reported case of the disease in his town.
With much persistence, Negba – an MTI community health volunteer that your gift trained – convinced the family to take the boy to a hospital.
But it was too late for Ramsey. He died.
Life-saving persistence of one health worker
Even after Ramsey had succumbed to the disease, his family did not explain what actually happened to him. They told no one that their house could still be infected by the disease.
A health worker provides care to patients possibly exposed to Ebola.
Knowing others in the community were being put in harm’s way by the family’s silence, including the family members themselves, Negba intensified his educational campaign to convince the Sackor family to be quarantined for 21 days.
It was during the quarantine that three of Ramsey's family members — father Dioxin, his wife and their 10-year-old daughter Joanna — began showing signs of Ebola.
Immediately, an MTI ambulance evacuated the family, including the family’s 13-month-old baby named Anthony.
Under treatment, Dioxin and his wife survived Ebola. However, again Ebola's tragedy struck, killing their little girl. Now, these parents had lost two of their three beloved children. Now, their smallest and most vulnerable – thirteen-month old Anthony – was in the hospital with them.
Treatment continued, and they feared for their baby's life. So young, he was especially vulnerable to infection.
Thankfully, thirteen-month-old Anthony did not die. Miraculously, he was the only family member not to have been infected.
Empowering victims to become advocates
The Sackor family, including little baby Anthony, survived Ebola thanks to your donation. Since then, they have taken the lead in educating the rest of their community about Ebola prevention.
Having already lost so much, Anthony’s mother called her baby’s survival “miraculous.” She recognizes that education and the clinic's persistence made the difference between life and death. While she lost two children to the ravages of Ebola, Anthony’s survival is a blessing, and his life is a sign that there can be hope even among death.
“I am happy to take Anthony in my arms again,” she said. “Thank God for MTI activities in Polay Town, [to] all those who help us to live again. We listened to Negba to still be alive.”
Since he returned from the Ebola Treatment Unit, Dioxin enforces “infection prevention control” measures in Polay Town, using what he learned from MTI volunteers. He encourages others to wash their hands regularly, and he asks people to seek medical attention early if they're showing signs of Ebola.
Each morning, he makes Clorox water for everyone in the community, so they can safely wash their hands when they come back from the farm or other places.
Distributing disaster-controlling medical supplies during the outbreak.
You made the difference
Because of your donation, this family didn't lose everything to Ebola- baby Anthony and his parents are alive.
Your gifts provided community education programs, which is seen by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Liberian Ministry of Health as the most effective way to fight Ebola.
Your gifts saved the lives of baby Anthony and his parents in Liberia
. When they did get sick, the family quarantined themselves, saving countless many more lives in their community – and perhaps West Africa.
You made this possible.
Want to do more? Learn more about our Ebola response and what you can do to help. Pray, donate or volunteer with MTI. Spread the word on Facebook and Twitter about the Sackor family and how health treatment and education saved their lives, and advocate for those still battling this deadly tragedy.