Mike is a family doctor (GP) from the UK. He's been working for Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Irbid, Jordan, helping to provide medical care to Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians. Today he shares a very personal post about going home to say goodbye to his father...
"It’s easy to write about the children that recover; the malnourished children who gain weight, the kids who make miraculous recoveries. But not the ones who pass away."
I am walking alone along a boardwalk by the sea after disembarking 417 passengers in Italy. I am trying to process the events of the last three days and feel numb. I am holding onto the handrail on a flat, straight path because somehow the rhythm and texture are making me feel grounded and I realize that even though there are cars whizzing by to my left and the sea crashing on the shore to my right, compared to the noises of the boat over the last few days, it sounds close to silence to me.
"Before I could see him, I could hear his screams coming towards us through the fabric of the field clinic tent."
It is moments like this that I fear most. A woman with Ebola is wandering around naked and screaming. A confused and potentially aggressive patient with a highly infectious and deadly disease – and all that separates us is my yellow protective bodysuit. I heard the commotion while I was working my way through the patients in the High Risk zone – the area of the centre reserved for the confirmed cases of Ebola. The screaming woman had left High Risk area and was heading for the Low Risk zone where MSF staff do our paper work.