The deaths of Kadiatu’s family members occurred during the height of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia in 2014 — but the pain of her loss is still fresh. Her own survival seems miraculous. But, what is preventing another Ebola epidemic in Liberia from occurring in her community?

Kadiatu, a resident in Liberia’s, smiling and standing at the door of her home

Kadiatu’s story began in 2014 when her husband took care of a community member infected with Ebola in the area of Grand Cape Mount, Liberia. With little knowledge of how the virus spread, Kadiatu then in turn cared for her husband when he became ill.

There were many myths about Ebola during the epidemic. A common misconception was that hospitals cause Ebola, and that if a person developed the disease it was better to stay home. This misinformation helped the disease spread like wildfire.

While caring for her sick husband, Kadiatu heard a message on the radio — a message from Medical Teams International. The message explained that Ebola spreads when people come into close contact with those who had been infected. Sick patients must travel to hospitals where they could be isolated and treated.

Tragedy strikes in Kadiatu’s life

After hearing the information, Kadiatu called an ambulance and her husband was taken to the hospital. Three days later, Kadiatu and her 2-year-old daughter began feeling sick and exhibiting signs of Ebola. She worried about her family’s health including her unborn baby — Kadiatu was in the late stages of pregnancy.

Once again, Kadiatu called the ambulance — this time for herself and her daughter. They briefly visited her husband before seeking treatment themselves. Tragically, it would be the last time Kadiatu saw him — he died just a few days later.

Doctors confirmed a diagnosis of Ebola for Kadiatu and her daughter. The disease advanced rapidly and her 2-year-old daughter soon died too. Kadiatu miscarried during her own illness. The weight of her sadness was unimaginable. For a time, Kadiatu waited for death and even welcomed it.

Powerfully, what Kadiatu remembers about this time is that people prayed for her.

That gave her hope and courage. Along with her care in the hospital — she miraculously survived.

Kadiatu, a resident in Liberia’s, smiling and standing at the door of her home

You sent life-saving medical care to people in Liberia

Thanks to you, Medical Teams was present prior to the Ebola epidemic in Liberia. As a result, Medical Teams was able to act as a first responder during the crisis. Outreach systems already in place made it possible to help dispel Ebola misconceptions during the epidemic and prevent further deaths.

During the Ebola epidemic in Liberia during 2014-2015, Liberia had 3,000 confirmed cases of Ebola. Along with that, 7,400 suspected or probable cases. Many led to tragedies like Kadiatu’s story. New, isolated cases of Ebola continue to occur in Liberia. The virus is still active. Permanent eradication is nearly impossible. But thanks to your support, progress was made.

Communities are educated on how to handle new cases and prevent future epidemics. The World Health Organization reports that community education programs are the single most effective way to prevent Ebola. Your support makes these programs possible. Community outreach and training provides communities fighting the Ebola epidemic in Liberia with the education and tools to prevent and contain future cases of the deadly disease.

Kadiatu lost so much. She is thankful for the resources helping to strengthen communities hit by the Ebola epidemic in Liberia. Communities throughout Liberia are empowered with the education on how to stop the disease. The message was received — as a result the people of Liberia are healthier and communities are stronger.

Your support is urgently needed. Donate Now.