Washington D.C., Oct 24, 2014 / 11:08 am
Nina Pham, a Dallas nurse who has been battling Ebola after treating a patient in Texas, has now been declared free of the disease, and gave thanks to God and all those who have prayed for her in recent weeks.
"I feel fortunate and blessed to be standing here today," Pham said in a press conference Oct. 24. "I would first and foremost like to thank God, my family and friends. Throughout this ordeal, I have put my trust in God and my medical team."
Pham thanked everyone who had been involved in her care, both in Texas and Maryland. She offered special gratitude to Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly for donating plasma, calling it a "selfless act."
"I believe in the power of prayer because I know so many people all over the world have been praying for me," she continued. "I join you in prayer now for the recovery of others."
The 26-year-old nurse, described by friends as a devout Catholic, is believed to have contracted Ebola while caring for a Thomas Eric Duncan, a patient at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Duncan passed away from Ebola Oct. 8.
Pham was transferred to the National Institutes of Health in Maryland on Oct. 16. Numerous tests have now shown her to be Ebola free, and she will return to Texas to continue regaining strength.
Ebola continues to devastate parts of West Africa. The World Health Organization said that nearly 5,000 deaths had been reported as of Oct. 19, but the true numbers could be as high as 15,000.
Pham's fellow nurse, Amber Vinson, had also contracted Ebola after caring for Duncan. Vinson is currently being treated. Her family said Oct. 22 that she had tested free of the disease.