The Texas hospital nurse who contracted Ebola from a patient there said an emotional goodbye to her doctors Thursday, telling her protective-suit-clad caregivers, “I love you guys” before she was flown from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital to a hospital in Maryland for treatment.
Nina Pham, 26, wiped away tears as she lay in her hospital bed Thursday before she was flown to a National Institutes of Health isolation unit in Bethesda, Md. In a video recorded by the hospital, Pham’s doctor, Dr. Gary Weinstein, thanked Pham for caring for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian who was treated at Texas Health Presbyterian and died Oct. 8.
“It means a lot. This has been a huge effort by all of you guys. We’re really proud of you,” Weinstein tells Pham in the video, released by Texas Health Resources. Pham laughs and tells the doctors wearing protective suits, “Come to Maryland. Everybody,” and later adds, “I love you guys.”
Pham’s plane landed at Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, Md., at 10:35 p.m. ET, and she was taken by ambulance to an NIH medical center in Bethesda. Pham was wearing a white protective suit and walked to the ambulance while holding on to the arm of an escort.
A second nurse who treated Duncan and later contracted Ebola, Amber Vinson, was flown Wednesday to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Her family put out a statement Thursday night thanking the public for its support.
“Our family has been overwhelmed with support and love for Amber and our extended family over the last 72 hours, and we thank you for those prayers and well wishes. Amber is stable, and we are continuing to work with her doctors as her treatment progresses,” Lawrence Vinson, Amber’s uncle said in a statement on behalf of the family.
“She followed all of the protocols necessary when treating a patient in Dallas, and right now, she's trusting in her doctors and nurses as she is now the patient,” the statement went on.
Texas Health Presbyterian has been criticized for how it handled Duncan’s case. A Texas Health Resources official told Congress Thursday that “we made mistakes” and said “we are deeply sorry.”
— Phil Helsel