Nina Pham, the first of two Dallas nurses diagnosed with Ebola, was transferred to the National Institutes of Health hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, on Thursday, and just before she departed, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital posted an emotional video of the 26-year-old nurse saying good-bye to her colleagues from her hospital bed. Pham teared up as critical-care medicine chief Dr. Gary Weinstein praised her for taking care of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who died on October 8. “Thanks for getting well,” Weinstein said. “Thanks for being part of the volunteer team to take care of our first patient.”
Weinstein, who was shooting the video, joked that crying isn’t allowed as a health-care worker covered in protective gear handed her a tissue. “I love you guys,” Pham said. “We love you, Nina,” Weinstein replied.
Pham took a chartered flight from Dallas and walked off the plane with assistance while wearing a protective suit. An ambulance took her to the Bethesda facility, which is one of only four in the United States with a special biocontainment unit. Pham is in good condition and was transferred because the outbreak left the Dallas hospital short-staffed.
“With so many of the medical professionals who normally staff our intensive care unit sidelined for the continuous monitoring, we felt it was in the best interest of the hospital’s employees, the nurses, the physicians, the community, to give the hospital an opportunity to prepare for … for whatever comes next,” said hospital spokesman Wendell Watson.