Woman who lost 21 relatives to Ebola gives birth to a son

Ebola survivor who lost 21 relatives gives birth to baby boy


woman gives birth

In this photo taken Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, a nurse in protective gear hands over to Ebola survivor Victoria Yillia, right, her newborn son Barnabas at a maternity ward at the Kenema government hospital on the outskirts of Freetown, Sierra Leone. Yillia delivered her child just a few minutes’ walk from the ward where just last year she had hovered between life and death, and nurses and medical staff wore full protective suits and masks for fear of any lingering infection.

KENEMA, Sierra Leone (AP) — Ebola did not take Victoria Yillia’s life. And it could not prevent the birth of her son. And yet it loomed, even on this, her happiest day.

She delivered her child just a few minutes’ walk from the ward where just last year she had hovered between life and death, and nurses and medical staff still wore full protective suits and masks for fear of any lingering infection. Doctors gave her formula and told her not to nurse her baby until they ran tests to be sure there were no traces of the virus in her breast milk.

Her husband Anthony beamed in the maternity ward as they talked about names for the boy nestled in a blanket with a yellow knit cap. But Victoria burst into tears: Her mother was not here to help her, to show her what to do with her first child. Nor was her grandmother, or her three older sisters.

The couple and their new baby are all that remain: Twenty-one members of her family died of Ebola when the virus ripped through this corner of Sierra Leone.

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