Nurse Infected With Ebola Posts Tearful Thank-You Video Before Flying to Maryland for Treatment
Nina Pham, the 26-year-old nurse who became the first person to contract Ebola in the United States, flew from Dallas to Bethesda, Maryland, on Thursday for advanced treatment. But before she left, her physician, Dr. Gary Weinstein, filmed her saying goodbye to her colleagues and thanking them.
"Come to Maryland, everybody!" she said, in good spirits despite enduring what must be an immensely difficult time.
It's an eerie clip, with Pham reclining in a hospital bed looking for the most part like an ordinary patient, rather than someone battling a terrifying disease that has recently killed thousands of people in West Africa and at least one person in America. The sound on the video is muffled, as Dr. Weinstein is speaking from inside a biochemical suit much like the one that can be seen on another health worker in the video.
Pham volunteered to care for Thomas Eric Duncan, the Ebola-infected man who flew in from Liberia in September. The hospital had been unprepared to properly deal with such a case, leading to the subsequent infection of Pham and another nurse, and possibly more staff members. Her doctor thanked her for her efforts.
Prior to her Thursday-night flight to Maryland, where she will be treated at the National Institutes of Health, Pham released a brief statement:
She asked that the video above be posted online so that people could see she was doing well before leaving her home and heading for NIH, which has one of four biocontainment care centers in the U.S.
"I love you guys," she says through tears at the end of the clip.
"We love you, Nina," her doctor responds.