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Sunday, February 23, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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EndNotes

Ebola and compassionate care of the dying

In this photo taken Thursday Oct. 2, 2014, Promise Cooper, 16,  is helped filling a bottle with  chlorine solution by  Kanyean Molton Farley, a community activist who visits Promise and her two brothers, Emmanuel Junior, 11, right,  and Benson, 15, not pictured,  on a daily basis at their St. Paul Bridge home in Monrovia, Liberia. The Cooper children are now orphans, having lost their mother, Princess, in July, and their father Emmanuel in August. Their 5-month-old baby brother Success also succumbed to the virus in August. Ruth, their 13-year-old sister is being hospitalized with Ebola. The three never fell sick to the deadly disease. (Jerome Delay / Associated Press)
In this photo taken Thursday Oct. 2, 2014, Promise Cooper, 16, is helped filling a bottle with chlorine solution by Kanyean Molton Farley, a community activist who visits Promise and her two brothers, Emmanuel Junior, 11, right, and Benson, 15, not pictured, on a daily basis at their St. Paul Bridge home in Monrovia, Liberia. The Cooper children are now orphans, having lost their mother, Princess, in July, and their father Emmanuel in August. Their 5-month-old baby brother Success also succumbed to the virus in August. Ruth, their 13-year-old sister is being hospitalized with Ebola. The three never fell sick to the deadly disease. (Jerome Delay / Associated Press)

Volunteers continue their poignant and compassionate care of Ebola patients in West Africa.

Dr. Stephen Hatch, an American volunteer with International Medical Corps, cares for Ebola-infected patients in a Liberian hospital. He is part of a four-week rotation. Hatch and nearly two dozen others trained last month in Anniston, Ala. at a former Army base, learning how to safely care for Ebola patients.

While suited up in protective gear, Hatch and other physicians touch Ebola-infected patients and soothe their pain. Without drugs to cure, the caregivers offer fluids, medications to treat symptoms; they offer compassion as they feed patients and clean them. They offer frightened patients the solace of human touch.

Last week Hatch cared for a gravely ill pastor who arrived at the Liberian hospital. The pastor insisted on praying for Dr. Hatch. The man prayed for him again the night before he died.

While we witness West Africa’s crisis from afar, compassionate care continues: Caregivers comfort and grieve as they witness suffering and remarkable courage.

(S-R photo: n this photo taken Thursday Oct. 2, 2014, Promise Cooper, 16, is helped filling a bottle with chlorine solution by Kanyean Molton Farley, a community activist who visits Promise and her two brothers, Emmanuel Junior, 11, right, and Benson, 15, not pictured, on a daily basis at their St. Paul Bridge home in Monrovia, Liberia. The Cooper children are now orphans, having lost their mother, Princess, in July, and their father Emmanuel in August. Their 5-month-old baby brother Success also succumbed to the virus in August. Ruth, their 13-year-old sister is being hospitalized with Ebola. The three never fell sick to the deadly disease.)



Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.