She was an Ebola survivor, a nursing assistant, TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2014, and was a mother. On February 21st, 2017, Salome Karwah died from complications in childbirth. She had given birth on the 17th, and died four days later.
Ebola, as many of our readers are probably aware, is a disease that effected the lives of thousands of people in Africa and took away many of them. The 2014 outbreak in West Africa took away the lives of over 11,000 innocent people, and was estimated to have inflicted pain on some 28,000. It is a disease that can be spread via touching an infected person’s blood, salvia, or other bodily fluids. It can also be spread sexually. The estimated fatality rate was above 70%.
Salome Karwah was an Ebola survivor, and as such, became immune to the disease. Therefore, she could help more people who suffered from the fatal illness, and she did to a very large degree.
TIME reporter Aryn Baker took a trip to see the Ebola outbreak firsthand, and to report on the Person of the Year — the Ebola Fighters. Salome Karwah was one of the fighters who appeared on the cover; there were five covers to honor the Ebola Fighters at the time.
Now, less than three years later, reporter Ayrn Baker had to report on Salome Karwah’s untimely death. The TIME article came out six days after Karwah’s death.
“When I met Karwah,” Baker writes. “in November 2014, she, her fiancée, and her sister were already planning to re-open the family medical clinic that had been forced to close when her father, the local doctor, succumbed to Ebola. She envisioned a kind of super-clinic, whose survivor nurses would able to go where other medical personnel feared to tread because of their immunity.”
After the outbreak had ended in Liberia, Karwah married her fiancee, and had two more children. When her child, Solomon, was born on February 17th, he was healthy and delivered via C-section. Karwah was sent home three days later and, according to the article, within hours of coming home she suffered convulsions.
She was taken back to the hospital by her husband, but no one would touch her.
From the TIME article: “Her foaming mouth and violent seizures panicked the staff. ‘They said she was an Ebola survivor,’ says her sister by telephone. ‘They didn’t want contact with her fluids. They all gave her distance. No one would give her an injection.'”
The fear of Ebola is apparently still so strong that the doctors would not risk their lives for her — a woman who worked her hardest to help countless other lives.
This death is tragic, and is absolutely heartbreaking. Though our website is small and doesn’t have the reach to contact her family, the Harris’ and the Karwah’s, our heart goes out to them.