Via The Guardian, a wonderful report on the British nurse: Will Pooley: 'At the start there was the horror of Ebola, now it's a bit routine'. Excerpt (but read the whole article and watch the video):
The last time I saw Will he told me: "At the start, especially, I could feel the weight of the horror that is the inside of the Ebola ward but you quickly get used to it. I don't go on to the ward each morning with that same dread of the corpses and blood that I did to start with. It has become a bit routine now."
The issue of personal safety and that of his colleagues was a concern for Will. But the possibility of becoming infected just did not seem like an option for him. He assured me at one point that "the PPE that we wear protects you against Ebola, full stop really. If you wear it and you don't make any mistakes and everything is done properly then you will never catch Ebola when you are working."
He also said that he did not take the same risks that his colleagues had taken. "I operate very differently to local nurses. A simple example is that it's very normal for staff to eat onsite in a moment of going in and out of the ward. I don't do that. So I'm protected by circumstance in some ways and also I'm a lot more afraid than the local nurses so I take more precautions."
When the small and close community in Freetown heard of Will's positive test result on Saturday it was a devastating blow and cruel reminder of what we all know – those most at risk of catching Ebola are health workers.
Many, like Yoko at the Ebola unit, were shattered by the news but hopeful for the treatment he will receive. "He will be okay, he will receive proper care in England, we will miss him though," she said.
Watching the grainy news footage of Will being taken off an RAF plane inside plastic casing, surrounded by a scrum of medical experts, I wondered what was going through his head. To arrive in one of the poorest countries in Africa and spend two months nursing patients suffering one of the world's deadliest diseases is an extraordinary experience. But to then contract that disease and be transported to the most sophisticated treatment unit on earth is unfathomable.
Will, like so many health workers in Sierra Leone, is a humble hero. His work has saved dozens of lives.
Before I left Kenema I asked Will what he planned to do when he left. "I'll get a motorbike and travel around Sierra Leone. I'll feel great because I know I've earned it."