Victoria Yillia, the first person to survive Ebola in Cameroon but who lost 21 relatives to the deadly virus, has given hope to hundreds like her after giving birth to a baby boy – just metres away from the spot where she almost died last year, according to a Mailonline report.
Mrs Yillia delivered her child surrounded by nurses and medical staff wearing full protective suits and masks for fear of any lingering infection and luckily for her the baby turned out to be healthy.
She was told not to nurse the baby until after medics had confirmed there were no traces of the virus in her breast milk.
Only when she was given the all clear did she discuss first names with her husband, Anthony.
‘Because I lost all my relatives, God has blessed me and I can start a new family,’ she said, softly cradling the boy.
‘With this baby, all I have lost has come back to me.’
She gave birth to the healthy boy, weighing 6lbs, on Saturday and the couple decided to name him Barnabas – meaning consolation.
It was not the first pregnancy for the couple, who met in Koindu, on the eastern tip of Sierra Leone, when Victoria was 16 and Anthony was volunteering in a school.
Victoria suffered a miscarriage around three months into her first pregnancy and it was during her treatment in hospital that doctors discovered she had Ebola.
Her first weeks of pregnancy has been fraught with complications and she had no way of knowing that a nurse who treated her had also come into contact with an infected person in Guinea.
She lost the baby in late May 2014 just as she was nearing the end of her first trimester
It was during this time that other family members in her village began falling sick.
‘We were at the hospital when we heard that her sister’s baby boy was dead,’ Mr Yillia said.
‘A few minutes later they called to say that her mother was sick and two days later she died.’
While Victoria underwent treatment, her parents, grandmother, and three older sisters died.
Mr Yillia waited until his wife regained her strength to tell her, saying: ‘After we told her, she cried and cried for weeks.’
Victoria was the first ‘Ebola survivor’ to be released from hospital and she has been described as ‘the face of survival of Sierra Leone’.
On the day of her release, which has since been named National Survivors Day, she met the country’s president as part of national
At the time, doctors told her that they did not know if she would ever be able to have children.
So when she discovered she was pregnant again, Victoria said she was surprised.
Other survivors have suffered miscarriages or had stillborn babies, according to matron Elizabeth B.M. Kamara at the Kenema hospital.
Almost 4,000 people in Sierra Leone were killed by Ebola.