Ebola survivor and public health advocate, Dr. Ada Igonoh, speaks in Lagos. (Reuters/Akintunde Akinleye)
Dr. Ada Igonoh, a Nigerian doctor who survived Ebola last year, has given birth to a baby girl. Igonoh—now a public health advocate and motivational speaker—detailed contracting, living with, and eventually recovering from the disease, providing one of the first accounts of surviving Ebola. Her new girl weighing 9 pounds 1 ounce was born at the Greater El-Monte Community Hospital, California and was certified Ebola-free. The World Health Organization says Igonoh is the only female medical doctor to have survived the deadly disease.
Igonoh was one of the physicians who treated Nigeria’s first Ebola patient, Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian. She tested positive for the disease soon after Sawyer died late July, 2014. She was taken to an isolation ward, where she spent 14 days praying and reading the bible, drinking oral rehydration salt (ORS) fluids, and researching Ebola from her iPad. When she was declared Ebola-free, she called her husband who couldn’t stop shouting on the phone, she wrote in her account, published in local media as well as on Bill Gates’ blog:
“I still believe in miracles. None of us in the isolation ward was given any experimental drugs or so-called immune boosters. I was full of faith, yet pragmatic enough to consume as much ORS as I could, even when I wanted to give up and throw the bottles away. I researched on the disease extensively and read accounts of the survivors. I believed that even if the mortality rate was 99 percent, I would be part of the 1 percent who would survive.I read that Dr. Kent Brantly, the American doctor who contracted Ebola in Liberia and was flown out to the United States for treatment was being criticized for attributing his healing to God when he was given the experimental drug, Zmapp. I don’t claim to have all the answers to the nagging questions of life. Why do some die and some survive? Why do bad things happen to good people? Where is God in the midst of pain and suffering? Where does science end and God begin? These are issues we may never fully comprehend on this side of eternity. All I know is that I walked through the valley of the shadow of death and came out unscathed.”