OMAHA, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Martin Salia, a surgeon who was flown to Nebraska after contracting Ebola while treating patients in Sierra Leone, has died.
"Dr. Salia was extremely critical when he arrived here, and unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we weren't able to save him," said Dr. Phil Smith, medical director of the Biocontainment Unit at Nebraska Medical Center in a statement Monday morning.
Salia, 44, arrived at NMC on Saturday. Diagnosed last week, he arrived already suffering from advanced symptoms of the Ebola virus disease, including kidney and respiratory failure. He received dialysis and was put on a ventilator and given a dose of plasma from an Ebola survivor and Zmapp therapy.
"We used every possible treatment available to give Dr. Salia every possible opportunity for survival," Smith said. "As we have learned, early treatment with these patients is essential. In Dr. Salia's case, his disease was already extremely advanced by the time he came here for treatment"
Salia was the third patient with Ebola treated at that hospital and the tenth in the tenth in the United States. Officials said he was perhaps the sickest patient yet flown to the U.S. from West Africa for Ebola treatment.
Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, who in September became the first person to be diagnosed with the disease while in the U.S., died on Oct. 8. Eight others have survived, including two nurses who treated Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian.
Salia was from Sierra Leone but was a permanent resident of the U.S. He lived with his wife in Maryland, had traveled to his native country to help do his part, his son, Maada, said.
"Even though he knows the sickness is already out, he decided to go and help his people because he really wanted to show he loves his people," he said. "He's really, really a hero to me."
A press conference is scheduled at the hospital for later Monday morning.