Time's 2014 Person of the Year Ebola Fighter Dies in Liberia
She died a victim of Liberia's broken medical system and the lingering stigma for those who survived the disease
By Aryn Baker

The 2014 West African Ebola outbreak killed 11,310 people. Liberian nursing assistant Salome Karwah was not one of them. The disease that tore through her town in August of that year took her mother, her father, her brother, aunts, uncles, cousins and a niece. But by some miracle it left Karwah, her sister Josephine Manley and her fiancé James Harris still alive. 

But just because Karwah escaped Ebola, it didn’t mean she was secure against the failures of Liberia’s broken medical system. She died on Feb. 21, 2017, from complications in childbirth and the lingering social stigma faced by many of Ebola’s survivors.

Karwah used to joke that survivors had “super powers” — because after overcoming the disease they were forever immune from it. Like any superhero, she often quipped, it was her moral duty to use those powers for the betterment of humankind. So as soon as she recovered, she returned to the hospital where she had been treated — the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Ebola treatment unit just outside of the capital, Monrovia — to help other patients. Not only did she understand what they were going through, she was one of the rare people who could comfort the sick with hands-on touch. She could spoon-feed elderly sufferers, and rock feverish babies to sleep.

When I met Karwah, in November 2014, she, her fiancée, and her sister were already planning to re-open the family medical clinic that had been forced to close when her father, the local doctor, succumbed to Ebola. She envisioned a kind of super-clinic, whose survivor nurses would able to go where other medical personnel feared to tread because of their immunity. “I can do things that other people can’t,“ she said then. "If an Ebola patient is in his house, and his immediate relative cannot go to him, I can go to him. I can take [care of] him.”

It was her determination to help Ebola patients when most of the world fled in fear that put her among the Ebola Fighters who were named TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2014.

At the time, Karwah seemed invincible. When the outbreak in Liberia ended, and people could have a party without fear of catching the virus, she finally married her fiancé, changed her name to Salome Harris, and had her third child. She picked the name Destiny. Then she got pregnant again. On Feb. 17 she delivered a healthy boy, Solomon, by cesarian section. She was discharged from hospital three days later.

Within hours of coming home, Karwah lapsed into convulsions. Her husband and her sister rushed her back to the hospital, but no one would touch her. Her foaming mouth and violent seizures panicked the staff. “They said she was an Ebola survivor,” says her sister by telephone. “They didn’t want contact with her fluids. They all gave her distance. No one would give her an injection.”

Karwah died the next day. “My heart is broken,” says Manley. “Salome loves her children, her James. The one-year-old, the newborn, they will grow up never remembering their mother’s face.”

Manley doesn’t know what caused the convulsions, but believes that something went wrong in the surgery. Still, she says, if her sister had been treated immediately, she might have had a chance. Instead, "she was stigmatized.”

News of Karwah’s death rippled far beyond her small community in Liberia. Those who knew her for her tireless cheer in the MSF Ebola treatment clinic were devastated. “To survive Ebola and then die in the larger yet silent epidemic of health system failure… I have no words,” says Ella Watson-Stryker, a MSF health promoter who worked with Karwah in Liberia and was also among the Ebola Fighters on the 2014 cover.

#PoleAsPresident pt. 3

Ang pinakamagandang master post sa balat ng lupa! Kasi naman jusko ang saya siguro sa Pilipinas kung si Pole ang naging presidente? Inalok naman ni Miong eh bago niya tinanggap yung role ano. Willing si Miong ibigay sa kanya ang presidency tas magiging Captain General chuva lang si Miong, like tanggap talaga ni Miong. Ba’t mo tinanggihan badang!

Sanhi ng pag-uusap namin ni @d-artist-freude​ sa twitter :))

[ part 1, part 2, part 3 ]

What if Mabini became the first Philippine President?

Miong: so commanding general pa din ako?
Pole as president: mhmm
Miong: ice yan sakin
Pole as president: let_the_love_begin.mp3

Cabinet: so yun po yung plan
Cabinet: may peace talks negotiations ganyan
Pole as president: teka consult ko sarili ko
Pole as president:
Pole as president:
no daw

Cabinet meeting
Pole as president: shet
Pole as president: di ako maka-walk out

Pole as president: may extra kawals ka ba dyan
Miong: bakit beh
Pole as president: in case kelangan kong magwalk out

Cabinet meeting
Pole as president: jusko

Cabinet meeting
Pole as president: -pindot ng buzzer-
Cabinet: ????
Pole as president: -binuhat ng kawals ang upuan-
Pole as president: bye

Pole as president:
Pole as president:
gusto ko nga ng kabayo
Miong: hindi nga pwede pano ka sasakay
Pole as president: :(

Pole as president: kawal bilhan mo ako ng kabayo
Kawal: um
Pole as president: pati na karwahe, yung pang gladiator
Kawal: cool

Goyong: gusto ko rin ng ganun!
Miong: sya lang daw pwedeng may ganyan may kabayo ka naman na
Goyong: :(

Pole as president: pinaiyak mo daw yung bata
Miong: wala akong ginagawa!

Pole as president: punta kang Bagbag
Miong: ano meron
Pole as president: tawagin mo si Paco may ipapagawa ako
Miong: ano yun
Pole as president: Román Coliseum

Luna: napadaan ka ata
Miong: kakausapin ko si Román
Paco: bakit po! :)
Manuel B:
Jose B:
…kakausapin ko si Román

Pole as president: ano balita
Pole as president: natagalan ka ata
Miong: si Luna kasi tinago si Román
Miong: sya na lang daw para may star sya

Toñito: kuya
Juan: ano na naman yan
Toñito: kuya kaya mo ba magdesign ng
Juan: ng
Toñito: ng coliseum

Minsan kang naging prinsesa niya. Ikaw yung palagi niyang sunusuyo. Hinaharana ka niya kahit wala siyang dalang gitara. Siya yung prinsipe mo. Kahit wala siyang kabayo o kaya espada. Siya yung nagtatanggol sa iyo kapag may umaaway sa’yo. Lagi niyang iniisip yung kaligtasan mo. Kapag giniginaw ka pinapahiram niya sa’yo yung jacket niya na nagsisilbing kapa niya. Ikaw yung pinakamagandang babaeng nakilala niya bukod sa nanay niya. Mahal ka niya kahit ano ka pa. Ikaw yung prinsesang walang karwahe. Walang magarang damit o kaya fairygodmother. Ikaw yung kasalukuyang prinsesa niya, walang arte yung tipong simpleng simple lang. Ikaw ang magiging reyna ng sarili niyong kaharian.

Gresca: part1

Note: Hai. goal: 20+ notes


Today, I must visit Senyor Emilio for reinforcements.


I step out of the karwahe, fixing myself. The president has been nothing but kind to me, for that, I must show him gratitude by obeying him. I must show that I am loyal to him and my country.

When I reach the corridor leading outside to the garden at the back of the church where I was told to go to, I see Senyor Mabini hiding by the pillars and when we made eye contact, he gestures me to quickly approach him. 

“Yes, Senyor Mabini?”

“General, I must talk to you about a dilemma of mine.”

“What is it, sir?” this is a bit alarming.

“Today, you are to choose reinforcements, is that right?”

I nod.

“Well, in the garden, there will be about 20 men you are to choose from that you think is fit enough to serve with you in your camp, and one of them is former-captain Eduardo Rusca.”

“Rusca? One of Luna’s men?”

“Yes, and you must make sure you pick him, or else, the Emilio will have him executed.”

I was startled, why would he want him dead? Rusca was a fine captain. “Will the president want me to pick him?”

“General, what the president wants is not important here, you need to do what’s right.”

Suddenly, the doors leading to the garden opened and the president was there, smiling.

“General Del Pilar! Please, come here.” I follow.

As I step out, I see 20 men lined up under the heat of the sun. Not all of them look fit and good enough to join the army, if I let everyone in, they may be a nuisance. I pass by their lines and I make the ones I need step aside. Then, I reached Rusca. Sadly, he looked a little beat up, not the Rusca I remembered that was in shape.

“Rusca, please step forward.”  I command.

He wasn’t looking at me. His eyes seemed lost.

“Please take off your shirt.”

Without hesitation, he takes his shirt off, still not looking at me. His body was covered in scars. A little bit of healing will do the trick, but it’ll need time. But I’ve fought only once him in the battlefield and I was always amazed by the way his mind works and how he moves. He would make a fine soldier. I gesture him to move to the side.

I glance at Mabini and he gives me a smile.

We had lunch inside when it was finished, Mabini approached me.

“Thank you, General.”

“Anything for you, senyor.” He shakes my hand and leaves.

The night of our arrival in my headquarters at Bulacan, my recent troops welcomed the reinforcements, I noticed Rusca was just standing and looking at the field of grass, alone.

“Rusca! Why don’t you join us?”

“It’s fine, general. I’m okay.”

“Are you sure? The cooks here are excellent.”

“So were the cooks in General Luna’s army…”


He looked at me and only then he realized that he said was a little off.

“General, I apologize. I didn’t mean it that way.”

I give him a smile. “It’s fine, I understand. I’ll be in my hut if you need anything, yours is just next to mine.”

He nods and I walk away.

I go to my kubo and walk over to my desk and grab a piece of paper. I need to write to the three maidens I met back in Pampanga. I haven’t greeted them in a while.

In the middle of the night, I heard screams by the hut beside me.

“EDUARDO! EDUARDO! GISING!” I heard one of the men shout.

Rusca was screaming and I ran over.

“Ano nangyayari?”

“Heneral! Binabangungot si Eduardo!”

Rusca wasn’t waking up, he just kept screaming Paco and Luna’s name, kicking and punching. He punched one of the men on the jaw when he tried to calm him down.

I kneel beside him and I slap him hard across the face and he wakes up, sweaty and red.

“Heneral!” He cries in a whisper.

I embrace him and I calm him down. “Tahan na, tahan na.”

He cries on my shoulders, “Pasensya na heneral, pasensya na.”

I ask him to stay with me in my hut for a while to speak with him.


It triggered again, the nightmares. I could hear Manuel and Jose Bernal’s screams in my head, I saw Paco begging for me to tell them to stop shooting him and Luna trying to defend himself alone from the bastards that slaughtered him…I can’t take this anymore.

When I got in Gregorio’s hut, he asked me to sit down and got a mug with coffee and placed a paper bag on the table.

“Rusca, if you continue this, it will cost the troops sleepless nights. They’ll keep waking up and that won’t bring any good when we’ll need to set off in the battlefield.” Gregorio says while bringing out an ensaymada from the paper bag. My eyes get bigger. I haven’t eaten this in days.

“Have you tried dipping this in coffee?” I ask.

Gregorio shakes his head and watches me dunk my ensaymada in his coffee.

“That’s mine.” He says as a joke and places it beside me.

For an entire five seconds, he watched me eat my ensaymada. I gesture him to try, but he says no.

“So what do you dream of?”

I take a gulp of my coffee, “Paco, General Luna… Jose and Manuel Bernal, especially them.”

I noticed his eyes widen.

“Whoever tortured those poor innocent brothers should pay for their sins in hell.”

“I see.” Gregorio rests his back on the chair.

“General, I’d like to thank you for this. This is really helpful.”

“Don’t get used to it, Rusca. You’ll need to fix yourself soon.”

“I know.”

“You may stay here for a while, I don’t mind your company.”

I nod and he grabs paper and a pen.

“These are for the ladies I met back in Pampanga.”

There it is, it’s confirmed.

“Back in General Lu—… my old camp, people talked about you and…this.” I point at his papers.

He laughs. “What do they say?”

“Well, they say you’re a babaero and you’ve never been in a relationship you took seriously.” Gregorio looks at me with a twinkle in his eyes. He’s amused.

“What else?”

“There was also one soldier who kept cursing you whenever he heard your name for stealing the heart of this girl he courted.”

He put his finger over his lip. “Which one?”  We started laughing and he was just looking at me.



“You keep staring.”

“Is it wrong, Rusca?”

“No, not really.”

There was something in his eyes that makes me forget about the horrible thoughts and nightmares. I wouldn’t mind doing this often, it helps me soothe my mind, it helps silence my demons. I don’t mind him looking at me because I get to look into his eyes as well.

He giggles and places his arm over the chair next to him.

“Rusca, you are a fine and amazing fighter. It would a shame if you let the past ruin your capabilities.”

“I’ll try.”

“Trying won’t help. You need to put all your heart and soul into this. Bring back the Rusca I once fought side by side with. I remember it because that was the first time I saw you and it was the first time I’ve ever seen someone with so much passion fight. I couldn’t think properly that time because I was so amused with you.”

I blushed and he noticed. He leaned forward, ‘You’re blushing.”

I held my left cheek and it was painful. “No, sir. It’s just swollen because you slapped me.” I said with a laugh.

“What? May I see?” He walked over and held my face.

“Oh, I’m sorry…but you wouldn’t have woken up.”

“It’s fine, general. I got used to it these past few days” He was still holding my face.

“Are these bruises from the soldiers that beat you up?”

I nod. “Instead of slapping me to wake me up from my nightmares, they punch me across my face and when I wake up, they start beating me up until I bleed.”

He starts caressing that one scar with his thumb. “Rusca, I’m sorry.”

I close my eyes, and when I opened them, there it was again, his eyes looking back at mine.

“General, I think I’ll be okay now. I should go back.”

He put his hand away from my face and stood firmly. “Okay. Good. Tomorrow, we start sorting out the new equipment.” His voice deepened.

I headed out and went back to bed. This time, I didn’t dream of anything.

NOTE: Archie x Paulo. HUHUHUHU.