It’s About Being on the Right Side of History
BOSTON — A growing number of doctors, nurses and public health specialists across the U.S. are putting their lives on hold and heading to Ebola-ravaged regions of West Africa. Today, and in the months to come, we bring you the story of one man who is on the ground in Liberia.
John Welch, 33, is a nurse anesthetist at Boston Children’s Hospital, and works with Partners in Health (PIH) in Haiti. At least that was his life before he opened an email from the organization in late September. It was a call for volunteers and support as PIH moved into Liberia and Sierra Leone to try and stop Ebola’s spread. Welch told a supervisor he’d be happy to help if needed.
That decision, says Welch, “was about being on the right side of history. I think I would have trouble looking back, knowing that I had an opportunity, and had not stepped up.”
Calming worried friends and family members was not so easy.
“How does your mother feel?” asks Lindsay Waller, an old friend and fellow anesthetist, who helps Welch prepare to discuss the decision with his family.