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The Lassa Ward

One Man's Fight Against One of the World's Deadliest Diseases

Ross I. Donaldson, MD, MPH

St. Martin's Press

Ross Donaldson is one of just a few who have ventured into dark territory of a country ravaged by war to study one of the world’s most deadly diseases. As an untried medical student studying the intersection of global health and communicable disease, Donaldson soon found himself in dangerous Sierra Leone, on the border of war-struck Liberia, where he struggled to control the spread of Lassa Fever. The words, “you know Lassa can kill you, don’t you?” haunted him each day. With the country in complete upheaval and working conditions suffering, he is forced to make life-and-death decisions alone as a never-ending onslaught of contagious patients flood the hospital. Soon however, he is not only fighting for others but himself when he becomes afflicted with a life threatening disease. The Lassa Ward is more than just an adventure story about the making of a physician; it is a portrait of the Sierra Leone people and the human struggle of those risking their daily comforts and lives to aid them.


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Chapter One

Swept Away


June 30, 2003

 

Unrestrained cargo lurched precariously behind my head, but I did my best to ignore it. Instead, I clutched at the frayed seat belt in my lap and focused my eyes out the helicopter window, past streaks of frenzied raindrops, toward a growing brightness in the distance. There's no point in looking back, I told myself—the only option is forward.

 

The cabin, filled with the whine of the antique turbines, shuddered violently when we flew over dry land. The lumbering transport bucked in stubborn protest
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Ross I. Donaldson, MD, MPH

  • DR.ROSS I.DONALDSON,M.D., M.P.H., is a UCLA medical professor and works in one of L.A.’s main trauma centers. He is author of several medical textbooks, has been a humanitarian in some of the world’s most dangerous places, and is host of Lifetime’s Street Doctors. He lives in Venice Beach, California.

  • Ross Donaldson Marion Ettlinger

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The Lassa Ward

One Man's Fight Against One of the World's Deadliest Diseases

Ross I. Donaldson, MD, MPH

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Press

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