As tributes continue to pour in for the brave consultant physician, late Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh, who prevented what could have been a health disaster when she had to physically restrain the late American-Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, who was diagnosed with the deadly Ebola Virus Disease at the hospital where she worked, First Medical Consultants, in Lagos State, Sawyer’s widow, Mrs. Decontee Sawyer, yesterday said that she shared the pains of the family of the late female doctor.
Dr. Adadevoh died of the deadly virus disease on Tuesday, August 19, after being infected by Sawyer, who brought Ebola into the country.
In response to an email query by a Leadership Newspaper correspondent, Mrs. Sawyer expressed sadness that her late husband caused so much damage both in Liberia and Nigeria with the Ebola virus.
Mrs Sawyer said: “I share the pains that the family members of the Nigerian doctor are going through. It is just a pity that Patrick had to cause this damage both in Liberia and Nigeria”.
Speaking in a letter, which was received by the newspaper yesterday, Mrs Sawyer, a resident of Minnesota, USA, apologised for the seeming heartlessness of her open letter, asking Nigerians to be mindful of her daughters, and not curse the Sawyer name, even if they curse her late husband.
The US-based widow opened up on her private life, and how Mr. Sawyer moved in with another woman in Liberia, abandoning her even while she was seven-month pregnant.
She blamed what she termed ‘bigmanism’ for the decayed health system of Liberia and the high number of deaths in the country as a result of Ebola.
“I want to reach out to them and express how deeply saddened and sorry I am for their loss and their pain. I do apologise if my words have cost anyone who is grieving more pain. I fall on my knees and ask God for his healing power for all of those who are still infected with Ebola. I pray for all of the families whose loved ones were taken away by this merciless killer Ebola, especially those affected by Patrick’s actions.
“Ebola didn’t start with Patrick in Liberia, as we both know. Ebola was in Liberia from a traveler from Guinea since February of this year. The government knew about it and did nothing. Many Liberians, including me, called out to the government then to close the borders. They didn’t do so until one of their own, Patrick (Sawyer), died in July.
“Many people died before Patrick and their lives were just as important. That is my frustration. Ebola didn’t have to go to Nigeria, Africa’s most populated country, had the Liberian government taken drastic actions sooner. I, too, have family members and friends in Nigeria, and now they are at risk because of Patrick’s actions.
“In spite of my anger and disappointment with him, I don’t believe that he did this with evil intent (I could be wrong). I believe his actions were that of a desperate man. And sad for everyone involved, Nigeria was closer than the U.S. This is just my take on what he could have been thinking (of course, I could be wrong).
“My regret is that I was so caught up in my own pain and frustration that I neglected to see the pain of the innocent people both in Liberia and Nigeria who are affected by Patrick’s actions. For that, I am deeply sorry. The last thing I wanted to do was to cause them pain.
“It is a pain I know. It is a pain I don’t want them to have”, she stressed.
Decontee, a mother of three, further said that she couldn’t apologize for her late husband’s actions because she did not cause them, stressing that while alive, he did a lot of things she did not like, including his unfortunate last trip to Nigeria.
“Going to Nigeria was one of them. His act was one of a desperate man. Many Nigerians and Liberians are affected because of that act of desperation”, she said.