In September 2014, ELoH pledged £9,817 in emergency funding to support vital Ebola relief and prevention efforts in Sierra Leone and Liberia, where our two major projects to support child amputees operate.
The money came at a critical time, over a month before the Disasters Emergency Committee launched their Ebola crisis appeal, and made a significant contribution towards keeping our beneficiaries, their families and their communities safe. We provided education about Ebola and how to prevent it and chlorine sanitation kits, and are immensely relieved and grateful that none of our 187 beneficiaries died from the Ebola virus.
However, there was a tragedy which shook our team deeply: Mariatu, a young amputee from Makeni in Sierra Leone passed away. As the Ebola crisis overwhelmed hospitals and medical facilities in her home country and strict quarantines were put in place, Mariatu developed a dangerous infection in her stump. Tragically, she was unable to access the treatment she desperately needed and Mariatu died at the age of twelve at the height of the Ebola crisis. We were all shocked and saddened by this terrible loss.
ELoH trustee Christopher Hope has since decided to run the London Marathon in memory of Mariatu and in support of ELoH. In a moving piece published in the Telegraph last weekend he speaks about his motivation for running and the parallels between the fates of two young amputees, his daughter Pollyanna and Mariatu, who met in Sierra Leone in 2012.
Read his wonderful piece here and sponsor Christopher here. Any donation made to his fundraising page will go towards our project work with child amputees and will help to ensure that no other young child should die as a result of their amputation. Thank you, Christopher!