Courtesy of Fox CT

Courtesy of Fox CT

By Amber Jasmine, Staff Writer

Last Monday, Dr. Martin Salia, chief medical officer and surgeon at Kissy United Methodist Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone (where he contracted Ebola), died from Ebola. He had initially tested negative, but after retesting November 10, the test came out positive. He had been transported from Sierra to Nebraska Medical Center, where they have an isolation facility equipped for helping those who had contracted the virus. Despite all their efforts, doctors were unable to save Dr. Salia, who had no kidney function and was unresponsive when he was transported to the hospital.

“We used every possible treatment available to give Dr. Salia every possible opportunity for survival,” said Phil Smith, the medical director of the biocontainment unit. “As we have learned, early treatment with these patients is essential. In Dr. Salia’s case, his disease was already extremely advanced by the time he came here for treatment.”

“Even the most modern techniques that we have at our disposal are not enough to help these patients once they reach a critical threshold,” said Dr. Jeffrey P. Gold, chancellor of the University of the Nebraska Medical Center, the hospital’s academic partner.

Dr. Salia’s death will now be the sixth doctor to die from the virus and the second death in the U.S., prior to Thomas Eric Duncan’s death at a Dallas hospital after contracting the virus in Liberia. Others who had been struck by the virus had survived, including two nurses who treated Duncan.

Ebola has taken its own toll on the world. According to the World Health Organization, more than 5,200 people in West Africa have died as of November 11th.

Salia’s body will be cremated, as doctors think an autopsy is too dangerous to perform.

“The staff gave it everything and then some,” said Rosanna Morris, the hospital’s chief nursing officer. “Now they need a little time to grieve and really find peace within themselves, awaiting our next patient.”