Thursday, September 4, 2014

'I'm Not Going Back To Africa, My Passport Has Been Incinerated!' - British Ebola patient

The first Briton known to have caught the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa was discharged from hospital today and joked he won't be going back because his passport has been incinerated.

William Pooley, 29, a volunteer nurse, was flown back to the UK for treatment on August 24 after contracting the virus in Sierra Leone.

He was then rushed across London to the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead Heath where he was put in an isolation ward and treated with the experimental drug ZMapp. 

Asked whether he would be returning to Africa, he said he currently had no plans to do so, adding: 'They incinerated my passport so my mum will be pleased to know I cannot go anywhere at the moment.' 

Despite the grave dangers, Mr Pooley had selflessly volunteered to serve in a makeshift clinic where other nurses had died from ebola or were too scared to come into work.

Speaking today he described being in the isolation unit as 'like being in a fishtank' and said it was so busy in hospital he 'didn't have much time to ponder the full potential of the illness'. 

Mr Pooley also praised the 'world-class care' he had received at the hospital and thanked the Government and RAF for getting him home so quickly.

He said he had feared for his life after being diagnosed with the virus and woken by doctors in protective clothing.

'I was worried I was going to die,' Mr Pooley said.

He said: 'I was very lucky in several ways, firstly in the standard of care that I received, which is a world apart from what people are receiving in west Africa, despite various organisations' best efforts.

'I had amazing care, which was one difference. The other difference is that my symptoms never progressed to the worst stage of the disease - people I have seen dying horrible deaths. 
William Pooley in his blue scrubs (centre) working in Freetown, Sierra Leone, before he caught ebola virus
William Pooley arrives home in Eyke, Suffolk after being discharged from the isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London


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