As suspected cases of the Ebola virus continue to rise in Liberia, another suspected victim, Dr. William M. Tandapolie of the Caldwell community, died on Wednesday, June 25, as a result of contracting the disease, sources say.
Suffering from ill health for the past two months, the late Dr. Tandapolie, who owned and operated the T&M Neighboring Clinic in Caldwell Market, was rushed to the JFK medical Center on Monday, where several tests were done on him.
According to his widow, Mrs. Cecilia Tandapolie, the late doctor was alive during the examination that was run on him after his emergency admission, but was pronounced dead the next day.
“They did his entire tests and said his blood was low—10 grams before we took him there; but it dropped to 6 grams when we got there. His pressure was very high (266), so the doctors focused on calming the pressure. From there they hung a drip and still his pressure couldn’t drop. His sugar test was very high (207), but his malaria and typhoid tests were all clear. The doctors told us that the injections we had been giving him prior to rushing him to the hospital over used his body,” Mrs. Tandapolie said in tears.
Furthermore, what surprised the widow was the fact that she received a call after leaving the hospital the next morning that another test needed to be conducted on her husband immediately, a test that needed her consent which she agreed to.
“My friend called me this morning saying they wanted to do a certain test on my husband, but when I got there they asked me if he’s a doctor and had been keeping patients. They also asked me about the treatment we were giving him prior to his hospital stay? They further asked if when taking his drip, did his blood stop, and I told them no, even when you take the needle from there the blood will still keep passing. We even had to press the place for long before it could stop,” Mrs. Tandapolie explained.
The Ebola virus has been labeled “out of control,” by an MSF official, Dr. Bart Janssens, director of operations. Its first symptoms mimic the flu: headache, fever, fatigue. It later develops into diarrhea and vomiting as the virus shuts off the blood’s ability to clot. He also added that it can take between two to 21 days after exposure for someone to feel sick.
During the course of Dr. Tandapolie’s second round of testing, he was pronounced dead to the shock of his family.
“I don’t know what kind of test they did on him, but when they came out they called me and told me that the man died. The clinic won’t allow us to see the body, and I didn’t ask them why because when they pronounced him dead I just ran out of there.”
According to a source at the JFK morgue, it has been confirmed that a male from the Caldwell community was discovered as having Ebola but no name has been disclosed; nor have the remains been disposed of.
“This morning someone died from Ebola, from the Caldwell area there. The body cannot be accessed; even a journalist will not be able to get near it. We have a special place for Ebola remains way behind the hospital. The Ministry of Health has to see the remains before it is disposed of, and he hasn’t been brought back there yet; he’s still in the building,” the health worker said.
Dr. Tandapolie leaves to mourn his wife and four children, and a host of other relatives.