Md. Family: Doctor Who Died Of Ebola Declared National Hero In Sierra Leone

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BELTSVILLE, Md. (WJZ)—The Maryland family of a doctor who died of ebola in Africa came together to remember his life and work to help others.

Mary Bubala has more on why he’s being declared a hero in Sierra Leone.

Hundreds gathered– many who are from Sierra Leone—packing a Beltsville auditorium to remember Dr. Sheik Humarr Kahn.

“He knew he was risking his life,” said Aljajie Khan, brother.

His brother is one of four siblings who live in the United States. Three live in Maryland, and Dr. Kahn last visited in May.

The Sierra Leone government has declared Kahn a national hero, crediting him with saving more than 100 lives.

The family says he cancelled a presentation at Harvard in June to stay in his country.

“He sent me an email,” said Uma Khan, sister. “It said, ‘it’s so hectic here. The Ebola is taking over this place. I’m so busy.'”

“He was working 12 hours a day, seven days a week. All he was thinking about was helping people,” his brother said.

The Ebola outbreak has taken more than 700 lives in West Africa with no country hit harder than Sierra Leone.

“Right now, it’s bad. It’s worse. We need all the help we can because masses are dying. People are dying,” he said.

Kahn’s family has watched as other aid workers are rescued and brought to the United States.

Kahn’s family says officials tried to fly him to Germany for treatment.

“The flight was there for over three days just waiting for him to be stabilized to be transported. It never happened,” she said.

Dr. Kahn’s family is setting up a foundation in his name. They want to use it to support families of health care workers who die from the disease.

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