A 12-week old unborn baby with a fatal heart defect…a skier drowned for an hour in a frozen Norwegian lake…a comatose brain surgery patient…a teenager with four rapidly expanding tumors. Twenty years ago all of them would have been given up for dead-with no realistic hope for their survival. But today, thanks to incredible new advances by pioneering physicians and medical researchers, each of these individuals is alive and well, having literally cheated death.
Steven Grandison’s Ebola: The Doctors’ Story joins Dr. Javid Abdelmoneim, a British emergency response doctor, inside a Doctors Without Borders Ebola treatment center in Kalilahun, Sierra Leone as the epidemic escalates dramatically in fall 2014. Attached to the doctors’ goggles, cameras designed to enter the “hot zone” of the facility reveal for the first time the realities of battling an unprecedented outbreak. Dr. Abdelmoneim, along with local and international colleagues, fights for the survival of his patients, and helps families reunite or cope with overwhelming loss.
No disease the world has ever known even remotely resembles the great influenza epidemic of 1918. Presumed to have begun when sick farm animals infected soldiers in Kansas, spreading and mutating into a lethal strain as troops carried it to Europe, it exploded across the world with unequaled ferocity and speed. It killed more people in twenty weeks than AIDS has killed in twenty years; it killed more people in a year than the plagues of the Middle Ages killed in a century. Victims bled from the ears and nose, turned blue from lack of oxygen, suffered aches that felt like bones being broken, and died. In the United States, where bodies were stacked without coffins on trucks, nearly seven times as many people died of influenza as in the First World War.