Nurse Pauline Cafferkey: “I pretty much lost a week of my life that I just can’t remember”


UK nurse Pauline Cafferkey has said she is “very happy to be alive”, having been discharged from hospital after making a full recovery from Ebola.

Speaking to the BBC in her first broadcast interview, Ms Cafferkey, 39, admitted she had felt like “giving up” as her condition became critical.

She said she was now looking forward to returning to “normal life” and had no current plans to return to West Africa.

She is the second Briton to recover from Ebola during the current outbreak.

Speaking after being discharged from the Royal Free Hospital, in London, Ms Cafferkey, from Cambuslang, in South Lanarkshire, thanked staff who she said had saved her life.

“I am just happy to be alive. I still don’t feel 100%, I feel quite weak, but I’m looking forward to going home,” she added.

‘Definitely frightened’

Ms Cafferkey – who had volunteered with Save the Children at a treatment centre in Kerry Town, in Sierra Leone – was diagnosed with Ebola on 29 December, after returning to Glasgow via London.

Her temperature was tested seven times before she flew from Heathrow to Glasgow and she was cleared to travel, before later falling ill.

She was placed in an isolation unit at Glasgow’s Gartnavel Hospital after becoming feverish, before being transferred by a RAF Hercules plane to London on 30 December.

She was then transferred to the specialist isolation unit at the Royal Free, where she has been treated since.

Speaking to BBC health correspondent Branwen Jeffreys, she said: “My first few days I was very well – I just couldn’t understand all the fuss.”