The Nursing Student Who Saved Her Family From Deadly Ebola Virus


We have nothing but admiration for 22 year old African nursing student Fatu Kekula.

With the news that the deadly Ebola virus has now made its way to American shores, it’s clear that the fight is not over, there is much panic surrounding this health crisis, but in the midst of a dark time comes a story of hope and power.

The current Ebola outbreak, which began in a 2 year old boy in Guinea in December 2013, has now spread across West African countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal. The World Health Organization, and Centers for Disease Control in the US have estimated a total of 7,492 suspected cases and 3,439 deaths across these regions, and the number continues to grow.

Fatu Kekula and her family who live in Liberia would’ve been part of that growing statistic, had it not been for some ingenuity and positive thinking. Her mother, father, sister and young cousin were struck down with the deadly virus in July. She took her father Moses to the local hospital in Kakata when a bed became free. His symptoms got worse, and she had to then move him to the hospital in the capital city of Monrovia.


But as time went by the nurses and doctors started dying too, and Fatu took her father back to Kakata. The hospital turned them away the second time as the outbreak was spreading and getting worse. She had no choice bu to take him home and look after him herself.

Once home, he infected her mother Victoria, Sister Vivian and cousin Alfred. Fatu, not content just sitting around and waiting for them to die got on the phone to her local doctor who talked her though some methods that would help. Fatu bought medicine and started administering it to them.

Aside from taking care of her patients, she developed a protective clothing outfit for herself that would prevent her from being infected, as the Ebola virus is spread through close airborne contact. She used a face mask, trash bags wrapped around her shoes and head, rubber rain boots for protection, and a simple plastic jacket to cover her clothing.

Through her persistence with the medication for her family and her protective gear, she managed to nurse all members of her family back to proper health, except for her cousin Alfred who ended up passing away.


CNN reports that the Ebola death rate is 75%, but in Fatu’s case, it was only 25% and she is being praised for her courage. In the area where she lives over 300 healthcare workers have become infected, but not Fatu. And how her rudimentary trash bag clothing is being taught to other local healthcare workers so they don’t get infected while caring for patients.

It is a remarkable story of bravery, fast-thinking, and a young woman who put her nursing training to good use, and has now literally become a hero for her family. Her dad is seeking a scholarship for her to finish her final year of school, now that her story has gotten a lot of attention around the world.

Now this is a woman who deserves more headlines for doing something incredible that will be told by many people for years to come. Fatu Kekula is not only a life-saver, but a living breathing example of why education for girls in Africa is an important tool for empowerment, and how it can benefit a community.

Take a look at the interview below with Fatu explaining how she nursed her family back to health, and see how her family are doing today:




Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.