In Sierra Leone, three-year-old Ibrahim survived Ebola but lost his mother. He grew close to nurse Isata Kallon and visits her at the nursing station. Recently, he surprised her with a marriage proposal.
“He said he wants me to be his wife,” Kallon told NPR. “I accepted!”
Ibrahim, his mother, and his two older brothers were admitted to Kenema Hospital with Ebola. Ibrahim was the sickest, and Kallon, who was in charge of the family and other patients in the tent, said his “chance of survival was very low.” Ibrahim’s mother deteriorated each day and passed away after a week, but the boys quickly recovered after their mother’s death.
All three boys were discharged after two weeks and moved to a different building; Ebola survivors live in that building while “they wait to go home.” Their father lives 170 miles away, but he cannot pick them up yet because public transportation “has been shut down or severely limited due to the Ebola outbreak.”
Without a mother, Ibrahim developed a strong relationship with Kallon. He sneaks into the nursing station often, but she has to bring him back to the building because she is busy with Ebola patients. Ibrahim blows her kisses when he sees her.
The three brothers brought much positivity to an otherwise depressing situation, and the boys will clearly leave a hole when their father picks them up.
“I’m going to miss his presence, because he’s my husband now,” said Kallon.