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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Patrick Sawyer, Ebola Victim was to visit US for daughter's birthday

Patrick Sawyer, Ebola Victim was to visit US for daughter's birthday
Patrick Sawyer, Ebola Victim was to visit US for daughter's birthday
Ebola victim, Patrick Sawyer, 40, who died of the deadly virus in Lagos, Nigeria, on Friday, July 25 was scheduled to return to the United States in August.  His wife, Decontee Sawyer, said her husband was to return for two of their daughters’ birthdays.  Decontee and the children lived in Coon Rapids, Michigan.

Patrick Sawyer died after suffering extreme bouts of vomiting and diarrhea on a flight from Liberia to Nigeria.  Decontee said her husband had planned to return to their Coon Rapids home in August to attend two of his three daughters’ birthdays, Minnesota’s KSTP-TV reported.

The grieving widow said she hoped her husband’s death served as a wake-up call about the global threat of the virus, which had already killed more than 670 people in West Africa.
“It’s a global problem because Patrick could’ve easily come home with Ebola It’s close; it’s at our front door. It knocked down my front door,” Decontee told the station.
Patrick Sawyer, Ebola Victim was to visit US for daughter's birthday

Health experts said it was unlikely Sawyer infected others because Ebola spreads through body fluids such as urine, blood or saliva. Unlike the flu, it does not travel through the air.  So far, Nigerian authorities identified 59 people who came into contact with him, including airline employees and health workers, and tested 20 of them. None of them was positive, the Associated Press reported.

Still, the fact that he was able to board a plane while ill – coupled with the fact his sister recently died from Ebola – raised questions about passenger screening and the risk of the disease spreading through air travel, officials said.

Two other American aid workers in Liberia have fallen ill with the disease and were being cared for by doctors there.
Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, and his colleague Nancy Writebol spent months fighting Ebola in that country before becoming sick themselves.  Brantly’s wife and two young children lived with him in Liberia until recently, when they left to attend a wedding in the US.

“They are now in Abilene, Texas and were being monitored for signs of the disease, officials said.
Sawyer lived in Minnesota for about a decade before returning to Liberia in 2008 to work as a finance minister, KSTP-TV reported.  His wife said he was beloved in their local Liberian community.  They planned to honor him with a memorial in September.

Decontee said she was left cold by the thought of another family losing their loved one to the disease.
She added that she hoped that African health officials were doing all they could to fight the outbreak.
“I have three girls who will never get to know their father. This can’t happen anymore.
“I don’t want any more families going through what I’m going through,” she told KSTP-TV


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