Lifestyle

Africa's Ebola crisis too close to home for Sarah

Sarah King, of Lismore, thinking about how her family and friends are affected by the Ebola virus, back in her hometown of Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Sarah King, of Lismore, thinking about how her family and friends are affected by the Ebola virus, back in her hometown of Freetown, Sierra Leone. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

EVERY time the phone rings, Sarah King's heart sinks.

Sometimes she is reluctant to answer, fearing the worst.

In her home country, Sierra Leone, where most of her family and friends live, Ebola has claimed more than 1130 lives with the number of recorded cases falling just short of 5000.

"It is terrifying, even if I'm not related to anyone, to hear that people walking down the street just fall down and die oozing blood. It can affect anyone," she said.

"There was a time when I would go on Facebook every hour, if not more often, to see what the updates were.

"People are still dying and it's close to home, it's close to my family. You'll hear about someone dying just around the corner or just down the road."

Sarah King, of Lismore.
Sarah King, of Lismore. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Ms King's family, including her mother, sister, nieces and nephews, live in the Sierra Leone capital Freetown, one of the Ebola "hotspots" identified by medical aid organisation MSF.

Since 2008, Ms King has called Lismore home. It's something she would desperately like to be able to offer her family.

"If I was able to get my family out I would," she said. "You're here and not able to bring them over to get them to a safe place. Every time the phone rings my heart sinks because you think, what are they going to say?"

Ms King said she would like to thank the Australian government for its help, but appealed for more support, particularly for more train-ed and experienced medical staff in Ebola-affected areas.

She said she would also like to see the government consider offering temporary visas for family members to take them out of infected areas until the situation gets better.

Ms King said she was establishing a charity that would send food supplies and mon-ey to families and orphanages in Sierra Leone.

MSF says every district in Sierra Leone is now affected by the epidemic.

It said the government's response had been hampered by a lack of resources and co-ordination.

Topics:  ebola editors picks lismore



Parents warned off high profile anti-vax campaigner

Controversial American speaker on health, nutrition and food, David 'Avocado' Wolfe, is coming back to Byron Bay.

David Wolf 'may influence vulnerable parents already hesitating'

Business owners find millions under the mattress

Millionaire mattress makers Mitchell Taylor and Dany Milham.

'Traditional retailers will wet their pants when they read this'

Top 10 things to do this weekend

Reece Smith, Ernie Angelosanto and Shayne Smith will compete for the top of the leaderboard at this weekend's Jodie's Inspiration Golf Day.

Are you looking to get out and about over the next two days?

Local Partners

New Bishop to lead church through dark times: Archbishop

"At this time the Catholic community ... hang our heads in shame in apology, in determination to ensure such failures do not happen ever again."


Top 10 things to do this weekend

Reece Smith, Ernie Angelosanto and Shayne Smith will compete for the top of the leaderboard at this weekend's Jodie's Inspiration Golf Day.

Are you looking to get out and about over the next two days?

Teeing off to support Jodie's Inspiration

Reece Smith, Ernie Angelosanto and Shayne Smith will compete for the top of the leaderboard at this weekend's Jodie's Inspiration Golf Day.

Vie for the top of the leaderboard, if you dare

Anzac Cup kicks off the new season for soccer

READY TO GO: Greg McMahon of Tursa and Richmond Rovers coach Todd Jones with the Anzac Cup men's premier trophy this week. The competition will kick off tonight.

THE Anzac Cup soccer competition is in it's 68th year

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

'LA LA Land? I only made it through 20 minutes.' Samuel L Jackson reveals his Oscars choices.

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

Reality TV show gives Maryborough a boost

*WARNING EMBARGOED until 9.15pm Monday January 30* Sean Hollands and Susan Rawlings pictured after their wedding on the TV series Married At First Sight. Supplied by Channel 9.

Maryborough looks good on reality TV show.

Buderim dad rejects gay son's emotional plea for second time

LOVERS: Grant and Chris have been together for more than three years, and Chris' parents refuse to acknowledge their son's fiance.

Son’s emotional plea rejected again by unmoved father

What's on the big screen this week

Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

This week's new releases offer plenty of variety for movie buffs.

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!