Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ebola Eyes..... Patients Have "The Look" as The Soul Retreats

As America reels at each new controversy surrounding the ebola crisis i.e.: should we ban flights from West Africa, quarantine health care workers, quarantine military, quarantine vs isolation, personal protective equipment that fully covers the skin, how exactly is ebola transmitted, etc; the reality of the evil of ebola continues to raze the West African nations.  In West Africa there is no time for controversy. The death toll is accelerating and the dying are desperately clinging to minimally effective, makeshift clinics erected in war ravaged and resourceless communities.

America is just now realizing the need, while the people of West Africa have been burying the dead since March of this year.  Way back on Sept 2 Medicines Sans Frontiers  called for civilian and military help to combat the relentless evasion of ebola. Almost two months later, after three Americans  and one West African National tested positive for ebola on American soil, Americans seem to be getting the message of urgency to address the enemy at it's epicenter; West Africa.

Humanitarian workers have been in West Africa from the very beginning, working among the dusty roads, cutting iv tubing to make straws for the people to drink from, risking their lives while being suspiciously eyed by the villagers who have equated the increase in disease with their protective, alien looking garb and the the spray of their disinfection canisters.  It was this suspicion that caused villagers to kill eight health care workers  hiding their bodies in the septic systems on Sept 19th.

The temperatures are unbearable, and inside the suits the workers body temps increase dangerously, allowing only limited time to be in contact with the patients. If you were to pass out from the heat, it would be virtually impossible to remove your protective equipment safely.

Samaritan's Purse has been fighting this fight since the very beginning as well. The Samaritan's Purse, an international relief effort  based off of Luke 10:30-36,  gained media attention when Dr. Kent Brantley overcame the unspeakable infirmity known as ebola and gave all the glory to God.

“As I lay in my bed in Liberia for the following nine days, getting sicker and weaker each day, I prayed that God would help me to be faithful even in my illness, and I prayed that in my life or in my death, He would be glorified,” he said. (Dr. Kent Brantley) 

As I dug for information on what was actually happening with the people of West Africa, a similar phrase used among health care worker emerged; "ebola eyes" or "the look".  Although it is typical for the eyes to turn red from the leaking of blood from the tiny capillaries, this is not what I am describing. The look is the knowing that the flesh is separating from the soul.  This is described as a look of impending doom, the slipping away of the soul and the inevitable succumbing to the enemy.  Tewa, a child in Sierra Leone, who lost her father to ebola and subsequently lost her fight had "the look" before she died, said a health care worker who pleaded for help after 5 months of fighting ebola.  Nurses tell of caring for mothers that have lost as high as ten children,  adjusting intravenous sites that while providing hydration, they are also draining the life source as the bleeding from the site cannot be stopped. A nurse describes desperately trying to get the name of new patient that arrived in an ambulance before she died, (all that was gotten was that she was married). Sorrow can be lifted from the pages as they talk of walking infants and children's bodies to the morgue. Small rays of light such as watching the sun rise, dancing and singing in the ward and the joyous release of an ebola free patient sustain these weary warriors that have given weeks of life away from friends and family. They all speak of watching the "white board" for the names of their patients who have tested positive or passed away. Some days they see the names of their fellow nurses who have tested positive or passed away, a sobering reminder of the invisible, microbial war that is being waged.

As I am writing a call is stirring inside of me, should I answer the call to help the dying? I am  a nurse. Can I leave my friends and family? Can I risk my life? My life has been well spent for God and He will direct my path. If I were to contract the illness could I have the faith that Dr. Brantley exhibited facing life or death?  If I do not go, am I enabling the enemy to cross the waters of Africa to America, placing my friends and family at risk? These are questions I am sure every health care worker is grappling with. Nurses especially, because that is what we do... we care for others.


  1. Thank you, Heidi, for such an informative and insightful look into this situation. Praying for your spirit eyes to see what the Master has for you ahead. Shalom

  2. I speak Blessing over you Heidi..... I pray for our enemies that implanted/design this Ebola Virus for the destruction of mankind lord we know you will avenge the evil doers,and that is no sorrow that you cant heal we pray bind and cancel every assignment that the devil has in Jesus mighty name we the devil comes to kill still destroy Jesus is our everlasting life and our only hope we pray for every family and nurses in your name Christ Amen

  3. My "mother heart" weeps with yours Heidi when I view the news. You have a fruitful and blessed ministry already. Your plan to begin a 24/7 prayer chain worldwide is inspired. You will bless humanity and smash evil strongholds. The Bible says "the earnest, (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available (dynamic in its working) Amplified Version. Thank you for your blog. The Begley ministry is growing in the Grace of God and I pray for you both. God Bless!

  4. I've learned over my 68 years of living, that most all of God's creatures, both human & others, take on "that look" when they are terminal, signaling death is on it's way. When I saw my daughter's father-in-law the last time, I knew he had but a short time to live because he had "that look" that I've come to recognize. But the last words he said to me were, "PRAISE THE LORD!" (He lived in another state from me.) What a testimony of last words to share with someone!!

  5. (my daughter's father-in-law passed away only two weeks after I saw him that day)