YEP Says, February 21: Why we should all be thankful for Sarah’s courage

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...and Leeds has plenty of musical magic

WORDS don’t do justice to the courage of Leeds medic Sarah Rippon.

The 34-year-old swapped shifts at Jimmy’s for Sierra Leone and a frontline role in the fight against deadly Ebola.

Most of us would shudder at the very thought of being anywhere near this terrifying disease that kills up to nine out of every 10 who catch it. Sarah, however, volunteered to go out there and do whatever she could to help.

As an expert in infectious diseases, her expertise offered a lifeline for patients and health workers battling to stem the spread and save lives.

Tasked with setting up the area’s first Ebola treatment centre, the scale of the challenge was onerous enough.

But the emotional side was just as draining, with the strict “no touching” rule meaning she was unable to comfort local colleagues even as they lost their own relatives to this merciless disease.

At a time when many are rightly questioning the scale of Britain’s commitment to foreign aid when families at home are depending on food banks, Sarah’s contribution is concrete help that should be universally applauded.

If the world is to defeat Ebola, it depends on the likes of Sarah and others from across the globe working together. Given how quickly the disease can spread, it’s not just Sierra Leone that should be grateful. We all should.

Leeds has plenty of musical magic

While much of the hype in the music industry (and there’s rather a lot of it) tends to concentrate on the likes of London and Manchester, Leeds can lay claim to its fair share of iconic moments.

From The Who’s legendary gig in Leeds University’s cramped refectory to Bruce Springsteen wowing a packed Roundhay Park, we have been witness to some genuine rock ‘n’ roll history.

And the great things is that after so long without a major music venue, the fact we now have the Leeds Arena means there are sure to be plenty of magical musical m