This is very much a life-affirming story. A triumph as much of human will, as cutting edge bio-science — Ms. Cafferkey clearly was a fighter, throughout. In fairness, though it is even more a story of what world-class bio-science in the 21st century can do: it can take the near certainty of imminent death right off the table, and all in the space of under an elapsed week, to boot. She is back at regular duty, week in — and week out.
Even so, she is quite right to feel rather humbled, insofar as she says that she is alive today, because she was admitted to the Royal Free, received those experimental Gilead medications (rushed from the US west coast — on an overnight transcontinental flight), and was afforded the very best Western medicine had to offer — all within hours of the re-emergence of Ebola viral loads, around her brain and spinal column. And so, her story is also a reminder — of all the over 11,300 others who were not quite so fortunate, in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Here is a bit of The Guardian (UK) reprint, but do go watch the original ITV piece, at the top of the article:
. . . .Cafferkey told ITV: “I was crying so much to the point that I wanted to scream. I don’t know if I was scared of dying or [if it was] just sheer frustration of being there and wanting out. But the nurses were great; they would just come and sit with me, they would be with me and talk to me. . . .”
“I found it very soothing if they would stroke my hair and things like that to try and soothe me. I probably reverted back to childlike behaviour. I just tried to cope with it.”
“I had crazy hallucinations. [I imagined] there were a bunch of Sierra Leoneans and they also had Ebola, but they were outside the tent, and I was saying to the nurse: ‘Treat them, treat them.’ I suppose subconsciously I must have had a degree of guilt, like why I got the best of care, world-class care, and they didn’t. . . .”
And so it goes — as we await June 9-10 — and a new all clear in Africa. Love one another.