Ebola Doctor Martin Salia In April Interview: ‘I Knew It Wasn’t Going To Be Rosy’

Emily Wax-Thibodeaux | The Washington Post | November 17, 2014

Martin Salia, the doctor who died of the Ebola virus on Monday while receiving treatment in Omaha, said in an interview before he went to Sierra Leone that “it wasn’t going to be rosy… but I firmly believe God wanted me to do it.”  “There was just something inside of me that the people of this part of Freetown needed help,” he said in an  interview with United Methodist Communications in April.  “I see it as God’s own desired framework for me. And I’m pretty sure, I’m confident that I just need to lean on him, trust him, for whatever comes in, because he sent me here. And that’s my passion.”

Salia was in “extremely critical condition” when he was evacuated from Freetown in a specially equipped air ambulance for treatment in the United States at the Nebraska Medical Center, which has a state-of-the-art isolation facility equipped for treating Ebola patients.  A native of Sierra Leone with ties to Maryland, where his wife and two children live, Salia had initially tested negative for the virus; but a subsequent test came back positive on Nov. 10. He died at about 4 a.m. local time Monday, according to the hospital.  The doctor has been described as soft-spoken and highly dedicated to the life of doctor, and especially to traveling back and forth to West Africa, where he felt he was most needed.

“And so by the time you finish your training, you are more or less like the pastor, you become a pastor,” he said. “Whenever we want to start surgery, we pray. I am just being used as an instrument or as a surgeon to carry out God’s own plan for that person’s life.”  His son, Maada, told NBC News last week that Salia knew the risk of working in West Africa. But he wanted to help...