Ebola Survivor from Sierra Leone meets Winnipeg Researchers who Developed the Drug that saved her life
A woman from West Africa who survived the Ebola virus is in Winnipeg to meet the researchers who developed the drug that saved her life.
Junietta Macauley (pictured left) will get a tour of the National Microbiology Lab Friday afternoon.
"I just want to go there and say a big thank you to all of them, and all of you, and the Canadian government," she said.
Macauley was given a special drug called Zmab created by researchers at the Winnipeg lab back in December of 2014 during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
"I had the drug administered to me on the 19th of December ... 48 hours later I felt better." Macauley said.
Macauley was working as a funeral director in Freetown, Sierra Leone when she and her whole family got sick.
"We were all in hospital but I was moved from one hospital to another which was run by Italians," she said.
Her husband Henry Macauley who was a local preacher, and her eldest son Raymond who was married and left behind 3 children, died from the Ebola virus before they could receive the drug.
Macauley said she still doesn't know how her husband caught the Ebola virus.
"My husband first caught it, we don't know where or how because he doesn't work in the funeral business at all so he caught it from somewhere, and we didn't realize he had caught it," Macauley said.
Macauley said this is her first visit to Winnipeg and she has mixed feelings about seeing the lab where the world's first Ebola vaccine was produced.
"I really want to meet them and maybe see the process if it's available,"
"I feel my health is okay, I feel good..I go to work but my heart is still broken because I lost my husband and my son."
Macauley said she still remembers when she first started showing symptoms of the deadly virus.
"I had wobbly legs, and that's how it started, and I completely lost my appetite."
According to The World Health Organization there have been 28,657 reported cases of Ebola, and 11,325 deaths.
Macauley feels lucky and "blessed" to be alive and she praised the Winnipeg researchers and the work being done at the National Microbiology Lab..
"It's very important to keep the research and the funding going because it might spring up in another country, or back in West Africa, we don't know, but it's very important."
Source: CBC News