Home / National News / ABC News Exclusive: Mother of Nurse Who Contracted Ebola Speaks


(DALLAS) — The mother of a nurse who contracted Ebola while treating a patient at a Texas hospital says her daughter is focused on recovery, but remains weak since being diagnosed with the deadly virus last week.

“She is doing OK, just trying to get stronger,” Debra Berry said of her daughter, Amber Vinson, to ABC News. “We talk to her when she’s not trying to sleep or avoid phone calls.”

Vinson, 29, is being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. She was diagnosed with Ebola Oct. 15, self-reporting to the hospital after registering a fever. Berry says it has been difficult for her to comprehend her daughter’s situation.

“I can’t put it into words really, how it feels to have the knowledge that she’s sick and I can’t get to her,” she said.

Nina Pham and Vinson were diagnosed with Ebola after providing care to Thomas Eric Duncan — a Liberian national who later died — at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Authorities still aren’t sure how the breach occurred. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines for Ebola treatment Monday, promoting head-to-toe protection.

Berry wishes the stricter guidelines were established sooner.

“It is concerning. I guess more than anything, I’m so relieved that it’s in place now,” Berry said. “It should help ensure that no one has to endure what Amber and what Ms. Pham have had to go through these weeks, and their families.”

Berry remains quarantined after her daughter’s diagnosis, but she says she isn’t worried about contracting Ebola because her daughter was especially careful. Vinson contacted health officials after Pham was diagnosed with Ebola, asking whether precautionary arrangements could be made for her return to Dallas, her family said. She had been in Ohio planning for her wedding.

After landing in Dallas, Vinson reported a temperature of 100.3 degrees and admitted herself to the hospital.

“She wasn’t sick [at the time], and knowing she would never expose me or anyone else to something that would be harmful; I’m just doing what I’m being told to do,” Berry said.

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