Volume 2, Issue 15
December 5, 2007
-The Darkest Night-
…when you pray for sleep to drown out reality…
The past six days have been the most difficult days of my life. I am in a movie, but there is no script. It’s an action, adventure, sci-fi thriller that has yet to reach its climax. Each scene is more harrowing than the previous. I want this movie to end. I want the happy ending now.
In the most recent scene, the most devastating of all, Dr. Jonah has died. I received word from Jennifer Myhre last night that he died in the isolation unit at a hospital in Kampala.
The following is from an e-mail I wrote yesterday:
The two Ugandan doctors in this district, both of which I know (Dr. Jonah and Dr. Sessanga), are not doing well. If they both die, even if one of them dies, it will be a huge blow to all of us. It's strange living your life thinking that every small cough, bit of nausea, or loose stool could mean the beginning of Ebola, and possibly your death. Each moment of everyday for the past 5-6 days has been so emotionally, physically, and spiritually intense. When I survive, I am definitely going to need a long mental health vacation.
Everyone on the WHM team has left, except for Scott and Jennifer Myhre and me. Our team went from nearly twenty down to three in the past 24 hours. Even if I wanted to leave, I couldn't. An individual that has been directly exposed has a 2-21 day period in which the disease could break out. This means that from my last exposure I would need to wait 21 days before I could realistically leave the district.
Dr. Jonah’s wife is pregnant, due in March, and he already has four daughters. He has been a source of hope, inspiration, and light for so many people in this area and for this entire district. The Myhres financially supported him through all his training, and they have invested so much time and energy into him. He and his family have been good very friends to the Myhres. He also has been very encouraging to me. Just over a week ago, when I saw him last, he was laughing with me and teaching me.
Over a month ago now, one day while I was at Nyahuka Health Center, Dr. Jonah told Jennifer and me about this strange disease that was affecting people in Kikyo. He was headed to that area to investigate. I asked him if I could accompany him, and in usual style, he smiled broadly and said “Sure, but we don’t as of yet know what this disease is. It could be very serious and we could be risking our lives. As a healthcare worker that is the chance we must sometime take. I need you to know what you are getting into to.” I accepted and we both hopped on his motorcycle, though en rout we were intercepted and did not travel to the epicenter that day, but Jonah has been treating many of the Ebola patients before we knew it was Ebola.
There is too much going on around me to truly process it all. Everyday is so intense, and I can’t even begin to tell you all the details. At times it feels like hell on earth, like a continual nightmare that keeps getting worse. I want the happy ending now.
Despite all the unknown, the death, the disease, I am daily confirmed that this is where I am meant to be, but that does not mean it is easy.
I love you,
My myspace account also has the same information, but more pictures and older posts:
My tele #: 0782960868 (8 hours ahead of EST, text messages are great)
Up to date information, see Myhre’s blog: