In a follow-up to a report on an individual who died in Cologne, Germany due to Lassa fever in late February, various reports identify the victim as 46-year-old Todd DeKryger, a medical missionary in Africa from a Grand Rapids church, a surgical physician assistant, the chief of staff at Hospital of Hope in the Togo’s northern city of Mango and a husband and father of four.
According to the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE):
Sent from Forest Hills Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Todd and Jennifer were appointed with ABWE in 2003, and began serving the Lord at the southern ABWE hospital, Hôpital Baptiste Biblique, in 2007. When the DeKrygers moved to northern Togo in 2013, Todd worked tirelessly in helping to build the new hospital — so much so that it’s been said his fingerprints would be found in every corner.
Since it opened in on February 26, 2015, the Hospital of Hope has cared for more than 11,500 patients from all over West Africa, performed more than 750 surgeries, delivered more than 290 babies, and started more than 12 home groups.
In a letter from his wife, Jennifer, she writes:
My heart is overwhelmed with unspeakable grief – for myself, our boys, our extended family, our spiritual family and the Hospital of Hope team. I cling only to the gospel and the certain hope of our salvation through Jesus Christ. I long for the men, women and children of Togo to know the Savior that Todd served so faithfully. Even in my pain, I am confident that our sacrifice – that Todd’s sacrifice – was worth it. I believe that the great commission is a cause worth dying for. And in the midst of my grief, I fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith.
German media report that as a precaution for Lassa contacts in Cologne, 10 doctors and 23 nurses under 21-day voluntary quarantine.
In addition, a second suspected Lassa fever case is being reported in Germany, apparently a contact with Mr DeKryger, who is currently in an isolation unit at the University Hospital of Dusseldorf, according to German media (computer translated).