Adventist Health White Memorial Mission Stats Mwami, Zambia
Mwami Adventist Hospital Testimonial
In Haiti, Adventist hospital celebrates nursing staff achievements
In Haiti, Adventist hospital lab manager increases patient laboratory visits by 800%
International Cafe: Ever Considered Global Surgery? A Glimpse into the Life of a Missionary Surgeon
LLUH nursing staff mentors one of the First Intensive Care Unit nurses in Malawi
Malamulo Adventist Hospital research published in the Malawi Medical Journal
LLUH Landscape Director improves campus grounds at Valley View University in Oyibi, Ghana
Haiti Adventist Hospital Department of Education and Training Basic Life Support/Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
Seminars by Doctors Without Borders
Haiti Adventist Hospital Department of Education and Training Blood Drive
Haiti Adventist Hospital Department of Education and Training Certificate in Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care
HAH Visit to Englese Adventiste de Sanai
Rose Charities visit to Haiti Adventist Hospital
Newest hospital in Ghana named in honor of Dr. Richard Hart
Bere Nutrition Center success stories
School of Medicine alumnus assumes new role in Malawi
Adventist hospital in Haiti celebrates 35 years of service with the opening of a new state-of-the-art surgical suite
Malamulo Kids: Vol 1 Issue 2
Malamulo Kids: The official newsletter of the Malamulo Children's Hospital
Merry Christmas from Malamulo
Bere Adventist Hospital - projects update
Haiti update: Clinical lab restoration complete
Malamulo Quarterly Newsletter: Issue 3, Volume 2
AHI volunteer takes on the role of teaching English in Haiti
Bere Adventist Hospital and Nutrition Training Center re-open after evacuation causes closure
Update on Hopital Adventiste d'Haiti (HAH) by hospital administrator, Edward Martin
Circle of Blessing - Malamulo Hospital
Bere Adventist Hospital reaches out to local community
Community Hospital of Trinidad receives new MRI equipment
Our Involvement in Africa
Bere Adventist Hospital's new EMR goes live
MaLawi Medical Missions: Fundraiser
MH Newsletter: Issue 2, Volume 2
Emergency Medicine Residents and Physicians aid in Nepal bus accident
A "Noble" Act of Philanthrophy
Hospital Adventista de Nicaragua
Following God's Call in the Medical Mission FIeld
Footsteps of the Unknown
PICU Team Takes on Malawi
You're invited to celebrate 100 years of healing with Malamulo Hospital
LLUH surgical team recently returned from Nepal. Read their experience here in the blog Haitibones.
Loma Linda specialist team travels to aid Nepal
Nepal: Updated May 4, 2015
Adventist hospital in Nepal responds to earthquake
Retired microbiologist shares professional experience and expertise with mission hospitals
Global Healthcare Conference- Thank you
Management residents serve a global audience
Front Lines of the Ebola War
Malamulo Hospital Quarterly Newsletter: Issue 3
Adventist Hospital and GHI site in Malaysia receives 'Gold' from World Health Organization
Scheer Memorial Hospital begins the new year with a new CEO. Meet Dr. Dale Mole
DMA Newsletter- Winter 2015
NBC News features AHI physician, Scott Nelson as he continues to work in Haiti, five years after the earthquake.
Haiti: Annual Update
Serving Far from Home- Nepal
Adopt-a-Missionary 'giving to a giver' project brings Christmas cheer to 15 missionary families serving overseas
EBOLA update: Dec. 8
Give Global: Project End Ebola
Give to a giver with Adopt-a-Missionary
Malamulo Hospital Quarterly Newsletter
LLUSM Class of 2016 Adopts Cooper as Class Project
Thirty-three Hospitals Join Together for the Third Annual Global Healthcare Conference
Special Vespers Draws Nearly One Thousand Viewers
Global Healthcare Conference: Live Stream
Waterloo Hospital Plans to Re-Open as Ebola Clinic
Front Lines of the Ebola War, Vespers Program
Shoes for Haiti
Why did they give? Malamulo staff interviews tell story of why they gave to help West Africa
Malamulo takes Initiative to Help Sister Hospitals Fight EBOLA
Gillian Seton shares her view on the impact of EBOLA in Liberia
AHI Doctor Heads to Liberia to Aid EBOLA Crisis: James Appel's personal log of daily events
A Good Death?
Two Hospital Staff Die during EBOLA Quarantine
Waterloo Hospital Placed Under Quarantine due to EBOLA Patient
EBOLA Update: The Numbers Keep Growing
AHI Doctor Heads to Liberia to Aid EBOLA Crisis: Entry 1
Dr. Hart addresses EBOLA crisis in West Africa
Cooper Hospital to Remain Open as EBOLA Free Zone to Patients
EBOLA outbreak endangers lives of hundreds in Africa
AHI takes part in Global Conference on Health and Lifestyle
Global Health Conference 2013
Malawi President Visits Malamulo
Baptism at Malamulo

James Appel Documents Journey to Liberia

In all my medical training there's only been one thing that really scared me personally: Ebola.  As you know, Ebola is running rampant across West Africa, but hasn't found it's way to Chad.  However, sitting around in Yacoub's living room last Saturday with a group of robed Muslim men, you'd have thought it was right around the corner.  Everyone was panicked.  They'd heard that there were two cases in N'djamena.  It had been announced that everyone should drink a half a glass of hot salt water before leaving home to protect themselves.  Everyone wanted to hear more.  So I told them what I knew.

What I didn't tell them was that the only reason I knew anything is that since the night before I'd been doing serious research on it because I was probably going to be going into the heart of the epidemic in the Liberian capital of Monrovia.

Apparently, most of the hospitals in Monrovia have closed down because health care workers refuse to come to work and possibly expose themselves to Ebola.  At first, it was even recommended that the surgeon at the Cooper Adventist Hospital be evacuated.  However, Dr. Gillian refused to leave. As the only hospital in town doing surgery, she was being overrun, especially by complicated obstetrics.  How could she turn her back and leave?

She soon found herself working 18-hour days and being swamped with cases.  So, Friday night, in talking with my wife Sarah, she told me she'd just met with Dick Hart, Adventist Health International's president, and he was wondering if I'd be willing to go to Liberia to help for a few weeks to a month.  My first reaction was abject fear.  I'd been following the story of the American doctor in Monrovia who almost died of Ebola and was well aware of it's up to 90% mortality rate with no supposed treatment available except supportive care.

But I also don't believe in giving in to fear.  I needed to face this fear, especially since it was for such a good cause. 

So Elisée and I packed up the ambulance and started the drive across Tchad on Sunday.  Sunday night I spent sleeping on the bench in the back of the ambulance parked outside the Catholic mission in Mongo. We continued on to N'Djamena where I boarded a flight to Ethiopia on Tuesday.  There were a few glitches in the plan.  First, I had no Liberian visa and second I had a layover in Addis Abeba overnight.

The second was resolved when I got an email newsletter from Adam and Michelle Yates saying they'd just arrived in Addis to begin their work in Ethiopia.  They graciously agreed to pick me up from the airport and let me spend the night.  I exited the airport into the cold air of Addis and there were no cars least not immediately, from way across some bushes and down a hill I saw a tall American jumping up and down and yelling "James!"  Boy, was I glad to see Adam!

I spent a pleasant evening with the Yates.  The next morning I finally got the invitation letter from Adventist Health International and was able to print it out at Adam and Michelle's.  I had my boarding pass already for Accra, Ghana so I boarded no problem.  Then I began to get really panicked on the flight.  I knew that Accra would be a challenge.  I didn't have my ticket, I didn't know if they'd make me get a Ghana visa or not nor if they'd let me on the plane since I didn't have a Liberian visa.  I was told they were working on getting one in Monrovia to meet me at the airport, but nothing was confirmed.  Plus, why would they believe me?

Coming off the plane in Accra, I walked directly into the Customs line.  There was no signs for transit.  Then I heard someone crying out "Transit! Transit!"  I saw a uniformed woman holding a list.  I wasn't on the list but I told her I was on Kenyan Airlines for Monrovia.  I was registered by hand in a large book and given a laminated "tourist visa" card which the woman held for me and told me to follow.  There was an Indian man also going to Monrovia so we followed our guide around Immigration and Customs where the Indian picked up his bag.  Then we walked outside and up a ramp to the entrance to the airport.  I went to the Kenyan Airlines counter.  At the front of the line, the man asks for my passport.  He can't find my name on the list.  I show him the email on my computer.  He asks about my Liberian visa.  I say I don't have one.  He asks for some kind of paper.  I pull out the Invitation Letter.  He reads it, smiles, and says "Very good!" and waves me on. 

At the counter, they can't find my name.  Finally, they find out that my ticket's been voided.  It's midnight in the US, so no way to call the travel agent.  I offer to buy a new ticket.  It comes to $484.  No credit cards allowed.  I have $400 with me. Then I remember I have some Euros in my wallet.  I go to the exchange booth and get $90 for my 70 euros.  Just enough to buy the ticket.  I finally am able to contact Dick Hart by telephone (fortunately, my Chadian SIM card works in Ghana) and he then calls Gillian in Liberia.  He then calls me back to confirm that they have a visa ready for me and will meet me at the airport!

So I'm off to Liberia!

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Ebola Crisis