Sierra Leone's Last Ebola Patient Dances Her Way Out of the Hospital

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Aug 27, 2015 9:30 AM
Sierra Leone's Last Ebola Patient Dances Her Way Out of the Hospital

I'm sure I'm not the only one ready for some good news after an utterly tragic Wednesday. Thankfully, Sierra Leone has given us something to smile about: The country's last Ebola patient has left a treatment center fully cured of the virus - and she did it in style.

Surrounded by dancing medical staff in the Sierra Leone city of Mankeni, the last person confirmed to be treated for Ebola,danced her way down a red carpet to celebrate her release from an Ebola treatment center.

Adamah Sankoh's discharge marks the beginning of a 42-day countdown until the World Health Organization (WHO) can officially declare Sierra Leone as being completely cleared of the Ebola virus.

Sankoh contracted Ebola from her 23-year-old son, who died from the disease. She still feels the pain of losing her son, yet is thankful her own life was spared.

"Although my child died of Ebola, I am very happy that I have survived today," Sankoh said as she left the facility, according to the AP.

Sierra Leone is celebrating with her, yet officials are urging caution:

"We might have hidden cases, so we have to continue to be vigilant, continue our surveillance, maintain our discipline of hand-washing and temperature checks, screening and avoid over-crowding," OB Sisay, director of the situation room of the National Ebola Response Centre told the BBC.

If 42 days pass with no new cases, Sierra Leone's Ebola outbreak will be officially declared over.

Several Americans who were exposed to the virus while abroad in Africa were flown back to the U.S. for treatment last year. One of those patients was Dr. Kent Brantly, who today is one grateful survivor. When he was discharged from the hospital, Brantly acknowledged it was a miracle he was alive and opened up about a faith which strengthened him to beat the disease that has claimed over 10,000 lives

"I cannot thank you enough for your prayers and your support. But what I can tell you is that I serve a faithful God who answers prayers."

The doctor has since written a book about the ordeal.

Brantly's and Sankoh's celebration of life is the kind of joy we need to witness every day.