The widow of late Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American who brought Ebola into Nigeria, has made heartfelt revelations on why her husband deliberately came into the country with the deadly disease.
Premium Times reports that the wife of the late Patrick, Decontee Sawyer, who is a Radio Host in New York has cleared the rumours about how her husband was defiant to the law that restricted any Ebola infected person from travelling outside the country.
Decontee made it known that it was the yearning of his late husband to receive adequate health care which he could not get in Liberia that made him opted to travel down to Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria.
Mrs Sawyer also took to her Facebook account to explain more about it. In her words: “I’ve read other reports in other papers (not the New York Times) about Patrick’s “recklessness.” I get where they’re coming from, and they certainly have the right to feel the way they do. However, as Patrick’s widow, I would like to shed some light on this from another perspective. One that only I, his wife, would know,” she wrote.
“I knew Patrick better than anybody else (including himself). He had told me many times in the past how much he didn’t trust the Liberian healthcare system. He would tell me about how a person would get checked in for one thing, and get misdiagnosed and get the wrong treatment as a result. On top of that, Patrick was a clean freak, and told me how filthy a lot of the hospitals were.
“He didn’t tell me this, but I know in my heart of hearts that Patrick was determined to get to Nigeria by all means because he felt that Nigeria would be a place of refuge. He has expressed to me many times in the past that he felt passionately about helping to be a part of strengthening Liberia’s healthcare system, but he knew it wasn’t there yet, and he wouldn’t want to take a chance with his life because a lot of people depended on him… Patrick had a passion for life, and he wouldn’t have wanted his to end. So, I bet anything that he was thinking, if I could only get to Nigeria, a way more developed country than Liberia, I would be able to get some help. How ironic.”
The late Liberian-American’s decision to travel down to Nigeria has caused so many uproar and panic in the country as many Nigerians have booed the late Sawyer as an inconsiderate fellow who just wanted to deliberately spread the deadly disease. Even the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, few days ago lambasted the late Sawyer calling him a mad man for the irrational decision he took by travelling to Nigeria.
Mrs. Sawyer however combated words of many people saying her husband deliberately brought the disease to the country by saying: “It has been reported that Patrick avoided physical contact with everyone he came across during his trip from Liberia to Nigeria. The CCTV in the airport revealed it. When he got to Nigeria, he turned himself in letting them know that he had just flown in from Liberia.
“Patrick went to Nigeria for help so that he can get properly diagnosed, and not misdiagnosed in Liberia. And if it came back that he did have Ebola, he trusted the Nigerian healthcare system a lot more than he trusted the Liberian’s. His action, as off as it was, was a desperate plea for help. Patrick didn’t want to die, and he thought his life would be saved in Nigeria.”
Mrs. Sawyer further took a swipe at the Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who said Mr Sawyer was indisciplined and disrespectful for failing to heed medical advice not to travel. Mrs Sawyer said if President Johnson-Sirleaf had fixed the healthcare system in Liberia, her husband would not have left in search of treatment elsewhere.
“I write today, not simply because of Patrick, but because of the broken healthcare system in the Liberia, and the government’s inability under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (and other past Presidents) to fix it. Good doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers aren’t given the support they need to save lives.
“President Sirleaf went on CNN News throwing stones at Patrick, a man who can no longer defend himself, a man who worked tirelessly for Liberia. She should be ashamed of herself. I used to admire this woman, and was excited and proud of her accomplishment as the first woman President in the entire continent of Africa. She will always own that. We will always own that. It can’t be taken away from her. It’s something to be proud of. But this woman has failed her country,” she wrote.
It would be recalled that Nigeria had a clean slate of the record of the disease not until the late Patrick Sawyer walked right into the country’s biggest city, Lagos.