The iconic ebola fighter who reportedly saved most of her kinsmen from the disease is reportedly dead. Salome Karwah died recently from complications of childbirth; triggering suspicion over the stigma of having previously had Ebola may have contributed to her death.
Her death spread across Monrovia, the country’s capital, leaving many Liberians in shock and disappointment.
Karwah was a nursing assistant during the West African Ebola outbreak of 2014 that killed 11,310 people and survived the disease herself.
According to reports, her demise occurred after Karwah delivered her fourth child by caesarian section three days before she went into convulsions and was rushed back to the hospital. Because she was having seizures and foaming at the mouth, the staff panicked and refused to treat her, fearing wrongly that they might be exposed to Ebola through her fluids because she had the disease years earlier, Time magazine reported. She died the next day, Feb. 21.
During the Ebola outbreak in 2014, Karwah lost her parents, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins and a niece to the disease. She, her sister Josephine Manley, and her fiance James Harris, survived, and they returned to their town after recovering from the disease to reopen the family’s medical clinic where her father had been a doctor before he died.
During the height of the Ebola crisis, which claimed thousands of lives, she became an international icon for her resilience in helping her country provide services to patients. Salome was later featured on the cover of TIME Magazine and was named Person of the Year.
After serving her Ebola-ravished country, Salome and her husband started a family.
However, on Feb. 21 she experienced complications during the delivery of her latest child leaving behind four children, including a newborn girl.
Salome’s husband James Harris told Anadolu Agency on Monday that: “Salome did what my mother did not do for me in life. I can’t believe that my wife is dead.”
“She was tested because the nurses on shift were told that she was an Ebola survivor and said she was Ebola negative.
“Ebola did not kill my wife, but rather childbirth,” Harris narrated tearfully.