Mercy Willing: Ebola Outbreak Keeps Mercy Ships from Africa

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DALLAS, TX — Ebola. The deadly disease hit home after Fort Worth Doctor Kent Brantly was infected. Now the death toll is more than 1,200 in West Africa.

The deadly virus is keeping doctors and nurses who wish to help at bay.

“The group that I worked with, those people, they can`t afford to go to them,” said Lindsey Briley.  “So they don’t see a doctor when they’re sick.  They just tough it out.  It’s a whole ‘nother world.”

Briley is a cardiac nurse at Baylor.  She volunteered with Mercy Ships.  The Tyler-based organization the world’s largest civilian hospital ship.

Hundreds from all over the world step up to help out.  There’s even a school on board.  It’s basically a surgery ship that sets up shop in developing countries—ten months at a time—to give free care.

“Her name is Bejamine,” Briley said, holding a picture of a young girl.  “She was a 14-year-old girl who had been burned severely.  Her arms were shut, her elbows were locked like this, and her neck was permanently down.  She’s now able to move her arms, she can move her neck up and down.  It’s just amazing to see the work that the surgeons did with her.”

But now, Mercy Ships can’t do any of that.  Because of the Ebola outbreak, they’re banned and healthcare is delayed.

Mercy Ships told NewsFix they’re working with other groups to get help for the people across the World.

President and Founder, Don Stephens released a statement saying, “Africa is and remains our priority, but crew safety drives every decision.”

Hope they can set sail soon, so people can get the help they need.