Family: Missionary from Jemison left brain dead after complications with malaria

Missionary dead after malaria complications
Myron West. (Source: Family)
Myron West. (Source: Family)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A missionary from Alabama is dying at UAB Hospital after traveling to Africa to help families and orphans there.

Myron West of Jemison contracted Malaria and has been dealing with critical complications since.

Those close to West say he made mission work and helping others part of his life. Family and friends don't understand why this is happening to such a good man, but they've accepted that it's part of God's plan.

"Family is at peace with what's going on. They're at his side," said Chase Barbrey.

Barbrey is a missionary team member with West who says he's brain dead at UAB. He has been in ICU and recently was taken off a ventilator.

"That's what he had in his living will," said Barbrey. "He didn't want to be on any kind of assistance."

West, his wife, son and daughter moved to northern Uganda 3 years ago with "Four Corners Ministries". Barbrey, who worked with them, says they were involved in all kinds of mission work together, like operating a school and taking care of orphans and widows.

Last year, WBRC traveled to Uganda with the ministry and interviewed West about the struggles of the people of Gulu and the difference the ministry has made. About three weeks ago West got Malaria and developed complications at a hospital near Uganda.

"They ended up doing CPR on Myron, during that time he lost oxygen to his brain," Barbrey said.

West was flown back to Alabama and has been at UAB for almost a week, brain dead.

"It's all in God's hands at this point," Barbrey said. "God will take him when He wants to."

Barbrey says what gives the family and friends comfort is knowing West lived his life devoted to God, a life Barbrey hopes is an example for people to follow.

"We know Myron will be in a better place," said Barbrey. "The people Myron has touched in Uganda, they are hurting and their hearts are here with him."

Four Corners Ministries is raising money to help the West family. If you would like to donate, here is the link to the Myron West Medical Support Fund: www.fourcorners.org/donate/

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