MADRID - Felix Sesay left his native Sierra Leone in 2016 to escape the Ebola outbreak, only to find himself helping others survive another epidemic — COVID-19. Now, the 23-year-old works with the Red Cross in Spain taking food to elderly people who are at higher risk of catching the coronavirus.
“I am not scared, because I have already survived one epidemic. I have wanted to be a doctor since I was 8 years old. When you sign up to be a medical person, you do so to save lives, and you know that might mean putting your own at risk,” Sesay told VOA in a telephone interview.
When the Ebola outbreak started in western Africa in 2014, Sesay volunteered for the job no one wanted to do — moving the dead to the morgue. He was shunned by family and friends who were afraid of succumbing to the illness.
“They thought I was bewitched because I used to put the bodies in the morgue and somehow, I survived,” he said. The combination of Ebola and the civil war wreaking havoc in Sierra Leone prompted Sesay to leave his country for a new life in Europe.
After an arduous journey to Libya, he was robbed of thousands of dollars, which he had hoped to use to pay smugglers to take him across the Mediterranean Sea. Eventually, a friend loaned him money to board a flimsy, overloaded boat with scores of others trying to cross the sea in 2018.
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