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UNMC pays special tribute to doctor who lost his life to Ebola

UNMC pays special tribute to doctor who lost his life to Ebola

OMAHA, NE(FOX42KPTM)-It's a special tribute to a doctor who lost his fight against Ebola at UNMC in 2014.

A plaque now hangs on the wall in Dr. Martin Salia's memory in the unit where he was treated.

Wednesday, three years later, his family visited that room.

"He was my best friend,” said Isatu Salia through tears.

It was a day of emotion for her. She’s the wife of Dr. Salia.

"My husband was indeed a great man with a very big heart," Isatu said.

Dr. Salia passed away in Omaha at UNMC in 2014.

He caught the Ebola virus while treating patients in Sierra Leone.

Wednesday’s visit was Isatu’s first visit back to Omaha since her husband’s death.

"He was everything to me,” she said. “I mean everything. He took the role of everything in my life and the lives of the children."

In the short time he was here, doctors say Salia also left his mark in Omaha.

"Martin is my hero because he ran towards the sickest of the sick while others ran away," Dan Johnson said. Johnson cared for Salia while he was in the hospital.

"He was like a shooting star, stricken across the night sky, illumining the surrounds as it went."

On Wednesday, his family visited the hospital's unit where he was treated and saw the plaque now on the wall in that hallway

For the team who did everything it could for Dr. Salia in his final days, his wife leaves with these words:

"We love you University of Nebraska Medical Center. We love you guys so much. You're always in our hearts"

A brick with Dr. Salia’s name will be placed in the Healing Garden.

A GoFundMe page is set up for Salia's sons' education.

It's called the "Martin Salia Legacy Fund". Here's the link.

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