TCU alumna, Ebola survivor among Time’s Person of the Year

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    TCU alumna Nina Pham is one among the many declared Time magazine’s Person of the Year 2014.

    The magazine recognized fighters and survivors of the disease Wednesday. Instead of honoring an individual, the magazined honored a group—the Ebola fighters—for their “tireless acts of courage and mercy. 

    Ebola spread to the United States when Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan became the first patient diagnosed with the disease on U.S. soil.

    Duncan, who contracted the disease in Liberia before traveling to the U.S., died at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on Oct. 8. Two nurses treating him, Pham being one of them, were also infected, but recovered.

    Pham was the first known person to contract the virus in the U.S. She was diagnosed on Oct. 12, and 13 days after testing positive, she was declared virus-free

    Pham said there was never a question she would help treat Duncan.

    “I was obviously scared, but I chose to keep my assignment,” Pham tells Time. “It’s part of who I am—nursing is a calling. There was a patient who needed help, and I was going to help him.”

    Although she doesn’t exactly know how she got infected, if she said if she had to guess “it probably would have been in the first couple of days, when Mr. Duncan wasn’t in control of his bodily fluids, and he didn’t have catheters and tubes in place.”


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