Bring Nathaniel Home

$13,993 of $30k goal

Raised by 240 people in 24 months
For Immediate Release

Family of First American Victim of Ebola Crisis Questions Lack of U.S. Intervention

Just a day after Nathaniel Dennis, 24, subcummed to an unknown illness in Liberia, reports arose that the State Department is coordinating the return of two Ebola-stricken medical workers to U.S. soil. Now, Nathaniel’s family is asking why he wasn’t provided the same level of life-saving intervention.

MONROVIA, Liberia (August 1, 2014) — Nathaniel Dennis, 24, of Columbia, Md., was the first American victim of the ongoing Ebola crisis in West Africa — but the college student and aspiring musician hadn’t even contracted the virus. Now, following reports that the State Department is coordinating the return of two Ebola-stricken medical workers to U.S. soil, Nathaniel’s family is asking why he wasn’t afforded the same assistance.

Nathaniel was found unconscious on July 24 while visiting his mother, an educator in Liberia’s capital of Monrovia. As a precaution, Nathaniel was quarantined at JFK Medical Center for three critical days, but doctors determined the young man — who was in a comatose state until his death several days later — did not have the deadly Ebola virus.

But when family attempted to have Nathaniel airlifted to Ghana’s Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, the closest medical facility equipped to treat him, they were told the Ghanaian government was denying him entry to the country due to fears about the spread of Ebola.

“We called everyone we could think of,” says Natasha Dennis, Nathaniel’s sister who resides in Los Angeles. “We were told by all of them that there was nothing they could do.”

Natasha and her brother Norwood Dennis IV launched a fundraising campaign for their younger brother and contacted the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, as well as the members of Congress, several Maryland state senators, and the U.S. State Department. Natasha says the State Department told her they were in contact with the U.S. Embassy in Liberia about Nathaniel’s case, but by then it was too late.

On the morning of July 30, Nathaniel passed away in Aspen Medical in Sinkor, Liberia. A doctor at the facility told Natasha that her brother’s kidneys had failed, and the facility lacked the basic equipment — a respirator and dialysis machine — needed to keep him alive.

Only a day after Nathaniel’s death, reports arose that the State Department was coordinating the return of physician Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol, who have contracted Ebola, to the United States. Both worked in JFK Medical Center where Nathaniel was initially quarantined.

“All we want to know is, why didn’t my brother get the same chance to come home, especially since he didn’t have Ebola?” Nathaniel’s brother Norwood asks. “He was an American citizen, just like them.”
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Update 3
24 months ago
Family of First American Victim of Ebola Crisis Questions Lack of U.S. Intervention

Just a day after Nathaniel Dennis, 24, subcummed to an unknown illness in Liberia, reports arose that the State Department is coordinating the return of two Ebola-stricken medical workers to U.S. soil. Now, Nathaniel’s family is asking why he wasn’t provided the same level of life-saving intervention.

MONROVIA, Liberia (August 1, 2014) — Nathaniel Dennis, 24, of Hyattsville, Md., was the first American victim of the ongoing Ebola crisis in West Africa — but the college student and aspiring musician hadn’t even contracted the virus. Now, following reports that the State Department is coordinating the return of two Ebola-stricken medical workers to U.S. soil, Nathaniel’s family is asking why he wasn’t afforded the same assistance.

Nathaniel was found unconscious on July 24 while visiting his mother, an educator in Liberia’s capital of Monrovia. As a precaution, Nathaniel was quarantined at JFK Medical Center for three critical days, but doctors determined the young man — who was in a comatose state until his death several days later — did not have the deadly Ebola virus.

But when family attempted to have Nathaniel airlifted to Ghana’s Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, the closest medical facility equipped to treat him, they were told the Ghanaian government was denying him entry to the country due to fears about the spread of Ebola.

“We called everyone we could think of,” says Natasha Dennis, Nathaniel’s sister who resides in Los Angeles. “We were told by all of them that there was nothing they could do.”

Natasha and her brother Norwood Dennis IV launched a fundraising campaign for their younger brother and contacted the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, as well as the members of Congress, several Maryland state senators, and the U.S. State Department. Natasha says the State Department told her they were in contact with the U.S. Embassy in Liberia about Nathaniel’s case, but by then it was too late.

On the morning of July 30, Nathaniel passed away in Aspen Medical in Sinkor, Liberia. A doctor at the facility told Natasha that her brother’s kidneys had failed, and the facility lacked the basic equipment — a respirator and dialysis machine — needed to keep him alive.

Only a day after Nathaniel’s death, reports arose that the State Department was coordinating the return of physician Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol, who have contracted Ebola, to the United States. Both worked in JFK Medical Center where Nathaniel was initially quarantined.

“All we want to know is, why didn’t my brother get the same chance to come home, especially since he didn’t have Ebola?” Nathaniel’s brother Norwood asks. “He was an American citizen, just like them.”
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Update 2
24 months ago
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ebola Crisis Derails Family’s Attempts to Get Medical Treatment For Comatose Son

UPDATE July 30, 2014 11:30am

Monrovia, Liberia - Nathaniel Dennis passed away on the morning of July 30 at Aspen Medical in Sinkor, Liberia. Despite his family’s efforts to have his comatose body transported by medivac outside of the country to a medical facility with adequate equipment and know how to treat him; he was unable to receive the treatment that was necessary for his survival.

Nathaniel had been in a coma for one week. Due to the ebola outbreak that has plagued the West African region, Nathaniel was quarantined for three days at JFK Medical Center for fear that he might have been infected with the deadly ebola virus. Even his mother, who never left the hospital, was unable to see him while he was being quarantined. Nathaniel tested negative for the virus and was removed from the ebola unit, but by that time his health had begun to diminish quickly.

Only a few days after Nathaniel fell ill, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf closed the majority of the country’s borders in an attempt to stop the spread of Ebola, which has killed more than 100 people in the West African nation. The Dennis family hired a medical evacuation provider on July 27 to transport Nathaniel to Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Ghana, but were told shortly thereafter that they would not be able to fly him out of the country. because the government would not grant them clearance to land.

Doctors were working with the US government and embassies as well as the Ghanaian government to obtain access to a qualified neurologist, but were unable to identify one in time to save Nathaniel’s life. As his kidneys began to fail, it became evident that he was in need a dialysis. A ventilator to assist with breathing also became a necessity. Equipment for dialysis and respiration were inaccessible at the facility, so Nathaniel continued to lie comatose and untreated until his untimely passing.

“This is a circumstance of timing, logistics, and unpreparedness by local governments,” said Natasha Dennis, Nathaniel’s older sister, who lives in Culver City, Calif. “It could have been prevented. We don’t know what happened to him; besides lack of immediate treatment.”

Nathaniel, a former patient of Ben Carson, was born three month premature, requiring a shunt in his brain. “He’s our miracle baby,” said Natasha Dennis. Nathaniel was an aspiring musician who was working as a DJ at Radio Nubian 97.6, a local radio station in Liberia, prior to his illness. He graduated from Howard High School in Maryland and studied at Howard Community College. Friends and family described him as endlessly positive and energetic.

Family and friends have joined together to raise funds for Nathaniel’s medical evacuation and treatment, using a social media campaign “#BringBackNat” to raise awareness about the situation. Despite his passing, their fundraising effort will still be held on behalf of Nathaniel in Washington, D.C., on July 30 at the Lima Lounge, located at 1401 K Street NW, starting at 5 p.m. to raise funds for his burial.

Donations can also be made to the family’s GoFundMe campaign, which can be found here: http://www.gofundme.com/c6jr3w.

The question that still remains is, “What will happen to others who require medical evacuation from the region in the midst of the ebola crisis?”
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Update 1
24 months ago
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Barbara Maufas
24 months ago

Saddened by the circumstances; praying for the Dennis family.

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Melissa Rodriguez
24 months ago

This is a terrible story. Brought tears to my eyes. It's very very sad and heartbreaking. My condolences to his family

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$13,993 of $30k goal

Raised by 240 people in 24 months
Created July 27, 2014
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$130
REMIX ZDSP08
23 months ago
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$25
Anonymous In Columbia MD
23 months ago
CC
$50
Carol Coleman
23 months ago

Continuing to pray for you Tasha and your family!

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$25
Anonymous
23 months ago
$25
Anonymous
23 months ago
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23 months ago
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Alimamy Bundu
23 months ago
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$50
Alysha Elam
23 months ago
CW
$20
Courtney Washington
23 months ago
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$35
Justin Subaran
23 months ago
Barbara Maufas
24 months ago

Saddened by the circumstances; praying for the Dennis family.

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Melissa Rodriguez
24 months ago

This is a terrible story. Brought tears to my eyes. It's very very sad and heartbreaking. My condolences to his family

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