Dr. Salia contracted the virus in Sierra Leone. After initially testing negative for the virus, Salia tested positive in a second test and was flown to the U.S. for treatment.
The 44-year-old was being treated at Nebraska Medical Center where he succumbed to the virus. Hospital officials released a statement on Dr. Salia early Monday.
“It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share this news,” said Dr. Phil Smith, medical director of the hospital’s biocontainment unit. “Dr. Salia was extremely critical when he arrived here, and unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we weren’t able to save him.”
The hospital planned to release further details later Monday.
Dr. Salia was a native of Sierra Leone but lived in New Carrollton, Maryland with his wife and two children. His son says his father was aware of the dangerous virus that has taken the lives of over 5,000 people in West Africa, but wanted to do whatever he could to help.
“Even though he knows the sickness is already out, he decided to still go and help his people because he wanted to show that he loves his people,” the son said. “He’s really, really a hero to me.”
The surgeon is the second person to die from the virus in the states. Thomas Eric Duncan died from the virus in Dallas, Texas in October after he was repeatedly turned away for treatment.
SOURCE: NBC News | VIDEO CREDIT: News Inc.