Man Thought to Have Died From Ebola Awakens After Burial Team Wraps Him Up

PHOTO: A burial team discovers a man thought to be dead was actually alive in Liberia on Oct. 2, 2014.ABC News – by Dr. Richard Besser

MONROVIA, Liberia — Amid the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, it’s easier to get help if you are dead than if you are alive.

My producer and I were driving back from an assignment in Monrovia, where we filmed this morning’s “Good Morning America” segment, when we saw a burial team working along the roadway surrounded by crowds of angry locals.  

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A community leader said they had been trying to get help for the dead man for days, but no ambulance ever came. When the man died, a burial team came in an hour.

We watched as the burial team suited up and approached the body lying against a wall. They sprayed it down with bleach and moved it to a black, plastic sheet and began to wrap it up.

“We couldn’t get him help when he was alive,” a community leader told me. “They only come when you die.”

Just then, the dead man moved his arm — just a little, but clearly a sign of life.

“He’s alive,” someone yelled.

The burial team unwrapped him and put him back on the ground. The man was alive but looked like he would only last a few more hours.

About ten minutes later, an ambulance pulled up and a separate team of health workers loaded him into the back.

The crowd went wild cheering.

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