The Lassa Ward
The inspirational and exhilarating story of one medic's fight against one of the world's deadliest diseases.
In the summer of 2003, a perilous helicopter descent delivered Ross Donaldson, an American medical student in his twenties, into Sierra Leone. With abundant schooling but little practical experience, Ross wanted to save the world. Little did he know that by the end of his journey, it would be he who would need rescue. With rebels fighting just across the border in Liberia, humanitarian need quickly swept Ross southward towards makeshift refugee camps and the heart of danger. There, he had his first terrifying encounter with the highly contagious Lassa Virus. Working on the Lassa Fever Ward, he was wholly unprepared for what he would find, and for twist of fate that saw him running the facility alone, with only a handful of untrained nurses to help him.
Based on his personal journal, this gripping memoir details the time Ross spent on the Lassa Ward, and his own battle with a potentially fatal illness. It is a real-life thriller that not only tells the adventure-packed tale of a modern-day hero, but also bears witness to a people in need, and the struggle of those who risk their daily comforts, and even their lives, to help them.
Dr Ross Donaldson has spent his life traveling the globe and helping others. His wandering path has allowed him the opportunity to care for a wide range of humanity, from war-struck refugees to Hollywood celebrities. He has worked with NASA to study the possibility of microbiologic life in outer space and served as the team physician on the 2005 NASA High Lakes Scientific Expedition to one of the world's highest lakes. He currently works at one of Los Angeles' main trauma centers, caring for the city's underserved and teaching UCLA medical students, interns and residents. Most recently, he has been working in Iraq to strengthen their emergency medical system.