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British Army Medics

Bravery in the Face of Ebola

I am always amazed and humbled by acts of bravery – I always have been. When I was a young girl, I witnessed my Dad rescuing people, on numerous occasions, from road traffic accidents and from burning cars in the Arizona Desert as we drove from California to Texas. I witnessed him standing up to someone who foolishly attempted to burgle our home, and on another occasion I saw him give chase to a strange man who stupidly followed me home. He is one of the bravest people I know and has stood face to face with danger and challenged it to back down. He was in the Army during WWII and faced some terrible crimes against humanity and did his part to bring about peace. He is a quiet, peace-loving man and yet brave and humble with it.

Recently, I have been well and truly humbled by the British Army medics who left the UK recently for Sierra Leone to set up a treatment centre, as a safe environment, for healthcare workers. They’re hoping that this will encourage other healthcare workers to join them in their fight (perhaps war) against Ebola. That, to me, is like you or I walking into a line of fire – you know the risk of being hit by a bullet is high, but you still do it because that is what you’re trained to do. It’s like my Dad making a stand, albeit without a weapon, against a burglar in our house. The fact that these brave medics are armed with knowledge, training and, one hopes, some excellent protective equipment, doesn’t detract from their bravery.

An even bigger act of bravery is the British nurse, Will Pooley, who contracted Ebola, survived it and is now planning to return to West Africa to help again. When asked why he was doing it, he replied quite simply, ‘It’s something I have to do.”

I’ve noticed that the hallmark of bravery is the unwavering confidence that it is “something you have to do”. When my Dad returned to our car after rescuing two people from a burning car in the Arizona desert, visibly upset and smelling of burnt hair and skin, I (being about 6 years old) asked him why he did it. He replied quite simply with the exact words, “It’s something I had to do.” He followed it with a question, “Wouldn’t you want someone to help you or your family if you needed help?”

Do I hear some of you asking, "What can I do to help?" Strangely, as I was writing this blog, we received an urgent request to supply nurses for an emergency screening programme at UK airports and gateways such as St Pancras. The nurses will be screening people who may be presenting with Ebola symptoms. This is an urgent call for help! If you know of any nurses I would be grateful if you would pass this blog on to them? If that is all you do, it would still be helpful. We are trying to find a minimum of 20 nurses. Can we all do our part in sharing this blog to any and all healthcare workers who might know a nurse who might know a nurse.

Thank you, Dad, for teaching me to be brave; to Will Pooley for being brave in returning to West Africa; to the British Army medics who are providing safe havens for healthcare workers; and to all the UK nurses who are brave enough to phone me on 01905 642 500 with an offer of help.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Celinda

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