Mrs. Decontee Sawyer, wife of the Liberian who introduced Ebola virus into Nigeria, has broken her silence over her husband’s death to reveal the real reasons he came to Nigeria.
Writing on her Facebook wall, Mrs. Sawyer blamed the government of Liberia for not investing in its health sector, saying her late husband decided to travel to Nigeria because he believed he could receive adequate medical attention there.
“I write today, not simply because of Patrick, but because of the broken healthcare system in Liberia, and the government’s inability under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (and other past presidents) to fix it,” she wrote.
“Good doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers aren’t given the support they need to save lives.
“Patrick went to Nigeria for help so that he could 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.”
Describing him as very caring and affectionate, the mother of Sawyer’s three daughters, expressed worries over how he died and appealed to Nigerians to understand that her husband did not intentionally mean to harm them.
“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!
“I’ve read reports in other papers 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 thing that only I, his wife, would know: I knew Patrick better than anybody else.
“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.”
Ebola has killed over 1,000 people in West Africa, save a Spanish priest, who died while receiving treatment at a hospital in Madrid.