Grieving Wife of Christian Surgeon Martin Salia Who Died From Ebola Issues Heartfelt Statement to Omaha Medical Team

(Photo: Reuters/Brian C. Frank)Dr. Martin Salia is placed on a stretcher upon his arrival at the Nebraska Medical Center Biocontainment Unit in Omaha, Nebraska, November 15, 2014. The Sierra Leonean surgeon who is critically ill with Ebola was flown to the United States from West Africa on Saturday and was transported to a Nebraska Medical Center for treatment, hospital officials said. Salia, 44, a permanent U.S. resident, caught Ebola working as a surgeon in a Freetown hospital, according to his family.

Ebola patient Dr. Martin Salia died in an Omaha hospital over the weekend after the U.S. State Department had him transported to the Nebraska Medical Center on Saturday for treatment.

Salia's wife, Isatu, shared her gratitude for the medical care her husband received, even though doctors were unable to save his life because the deadly virus was already in advanced stages.

"We're very grateful for the efforts of the team led by Dr. Phil Smith," Isatu said in a Monday statement, according to The Washington Post. "In the short time we spent here, it was apparent how caring and compassionate everyone was. We are so appreciative of the opportunity for my husband to be treated here and believe he was in the best place possible."

Salia spoke with his wife, Isatu, via phone on Friday and the couple prayed for healing, however, his condition deteriorated upon his arrival to the University of Nebraska Medical Center on Saturday.

The Christian Post contacted Isatu Salia for comment Monday, but a response was not received at the time of this publication.

Dr. Phil Smith, medical director of the Biocontainment Unit at Nebraska Medical Center, said Monday: "It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share this news. Dr. Salia was extremely critical when he arrived here and unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we weren't able to save him."

A medical missionary, Salia, was a citizen of Sierra Leone and a legal permanent U.S. resident. He leaves behind his wife, Isatu Salia, and their two sons, ages 12 and 20, who all live in Maryland.

Salia, a 44-year-old Christian surgeon, is said to have received surgical training from the Pan African Academy of Christian Surgeons. The non-denominational group trains African physicians to become general surgeons throughout Africa. He's now the second Ebola patient to die on U.S. soil following the Oct. 8 death of Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, who traveled to Dallas after having direct contact with an Ebola patient who died in Liberia.

"Dr. Salia was suffering from advanced symptoms of Ebola when he arrived at the hospital Saturday, which included kidney and respiratory failure," the Nebraska Medical Center said in a statement. "He was placed on dialysis, a ventilator and multiple medications to support his organ systems in an effort to help his body fight the disease. He also received a dose of convalescent plasma and ZMapp therapy was initiated on Saturday."

Salia tested positive for the deadly virus on Nov. 10 in West Africa. He is believed to have contracted Ebola in the Sierra Leone capital of Freetown, where he had been working at Kissy United Methodist Hospital.