On Tuesday, Atlanta's Emory University Hospital announced that Amber Vinson has been cured of Ebola and discharged the nurse. Vinson was the second nurse to contract Ebola after working with the first U.S.-diagnosed Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan. After a brief press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Vinson can now go back to her normal life.
Vinson first tested positive for the disease on Oct. 15. Her case was notable because two days prior to her diagnosis, she had traveled by air from Cleveland to Dallas. However, since she wasn't symptomatic yet, and therefore not contagious, nobody else on her flight has tested positive for Ebola.
Medical Director of Serious Communicable Diseases Unit at Emory Bruce Ribner, who led the team of health workers who treated Vinson, made the official announcement that Vinson was Ebola-free and was being discharged from the hospital. Following his statements, Vinson stepped up to the mic to give her thanks.
I'm so grateful to be well, and first and foremost, I want to thank God.... While the skill and dedication of the doctors, nurses, and others who have taken care of me have obviously led to my recovery, it has been God's love that has truly carried my family and me during this difficult time.
Vinson then thanks her family, who have supported her throughout her recovery. But she also took the time to emphasize the gravity of the continuing outbreak in West Africa.
While this is a day for celebration and gratitude, I ask that we not lose focus on the thousands of families who continue to labor under the burden of this disease in West Africa.
She also thanks Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, who had both donated plasma to Vinson and other patients, the medical professionals at both Emory and Texas Health Presbyterian in Dallas, and the many strangers who have sent their prayers and well wishes. As someone who cares for others for a living, she expressed her gratitude for her nurses especially, now that she's been on the other side.
As a nurse and now as someone who has experienced what it's like to be cared through a life-threatening illness, I am so appreciative and grateful for your exceptional skill, warmth, and care.
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