Risk Is Right, Says Ebola Survivor and Missionary Nancy Writebol

Nancy Writebol, 59, would prefer to be known simply as a Christian, wife, mother to two grown boys, and grandmother. But after an adventurous few months, she's now known to the world as a brave missionary, Ebola survivor, and success story of medical evacuation. Having been featured on every major television news outlet and in every major newspaper, those who recognize her in public approach her with gratitude for her courage, or they draw back, as if the Ebola virus still lingers in her presence. Along with her husband of 40 years, David, she was serving as a missionary in Monrovia, Liberia, before the Ebola outbreak. They served in a hospital that would become a frontline defense against the disease.

Among her duties, Nancy helped to dress doctors and nurses into their biohazard suits (PPEs) before they entered the Ebola isolation unit. The work is messy and dangerous, so the protocol is strict: Doctors and nurses in scrubs put on boots, Tyvek suits, surgical masks over their face, goggles over their eyes, Tyvek hoods, double gloves duct taped in place, and heavy rubber aprons over the top of it all. The process takes about twenty minutes, usually longer.

But even before all these coverings, there's the matter of hydration. All the layers exacerbate the heat. Doctors talk about the sound of sweat sloshing in gloves as they work in the isolation unit, working from the patients least likely to have Ebola to the worst cases to avoid cross contamination.

[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]