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'We're a Family': Nurses at Texas Ebola Hospital Break Silence

Three nurses from the Dallas hospital where an Ebola patient died and where two nurses contracted the virus spoke to reporters Monday.

Nurses made a show of support Monday at the Dallas hospital where an Ebola patient died and two of their own were infected — declaring that they are proud of what they do and where they work.

Several dozen nurses stood on the hospital grounds and applauded after three members of the staff spoke to reporters and asked for support from the people of Dallas.

“We’re a family, and we’re a proud family,” said Cole Edmonson, chief nursing officer at the hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian.

Thomas Eric Duncan, who contracted Ebola in Liberia and flew to Dallas, died at the hospital on Oct. 8. Hospital administrators have acknowledged that it was an error to send him home the first time he showed up. And two nurses who treated Duncan, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, themselves contracted the virus.

One nurse at the hospital, Briana Aguirre, spoke to TODAY last week and described a compromised and confused Ebola response at the hospital after Duncan was admitted, including gear that left nurses’ necks exposed.

The nurses who spoke Monday were not involved in the care of Duncan, Pham or Vinson, and they did not address allegations about hospital procedures. Pham and Vinson were moved from Dallas and are being treated in special Ebola isolation units in Bethesda, Maryland, and Atlanta.

“We cannot wait for you to come home so we can give you a great big hug,” said Chantea Irving, the charge nurse for the hospital’s neurological unit.\


— Erin McClam