Fatu Turay was a 19 year old mother who showed up at a Sierra Leone Ebola clinic with her newborn son in her arms.
Donnell Tholley was the nurse who asked her her son’s name.
Duray, already succumbing to the deadly virus, replied “Bobo.” The name is a term of endearment that translates to “my sweet boy”.
“That’s not a real name though,” Said Tholley, according to Yahoo news. He quickly wrote his name and phone number on a scrap of paper and handed it to her. Turay was taken for treatment and Tholley tended to his patients.
A week later, Tholley got a phone call. It was a nurse telling him that his wife was dying, he needed to come right away.
Tholley, an unmarried man of 25, hurried to the clinic. By the time he got there, the body had already been taken away, but the nurse held a familiar piece of paper. It had his name and phone number on it. Fatu Turay had clutched it while she lay dying.
Her baby boy was two weeks old and fighting for life. With no money to buy him formula, he was slowly wasting away.
“I kept thinking of this boy and how at his young age he had no one else,” Tholley said.
With the help of his mother Josephine Bangura, a former maternity nurse, Tholley made arrangements to adopt the boy. In January 2015, nurses brought the boy to Tholley’s apartment in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
“He had been crying so long at the hospital that at first he would open his mouth to cry and no sound would come out,” says Bangura, 53.
The boy is 8 months old now. The family calls him Junior. Tholley says he would like to get married and have more children, so Junior can have brothers and sister.
“People say I made a brave decision,” he says. “The task is very hard, but God being our helper, up ’til now it is going very well.”