Make no mistake: Pauline Cafferkey is certainly an international hero. True — many, many people risked their lives to end the latest Ebola outbreak in Western Africa, but few were so deeply affected by their efforts, personally — and I can think of none who were then “hung out to dry” by their own home nation, nearly a year after returning. [And still she waits for her bonus.] Here is a bit, from the Sunday Guardian in London:
. . . .Last week Cafferkey was cleared of all wrongdoing by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, but critics have questioned why she was ever brought before the panel when it transpired there was no case to answer.
“I should have been sent to the infectious diseases unit from Heathrow – not allowed to get in a plane to Glasgow. The minute they let me fly they put the health of the public at risk,” she said.
She spent a month fighting for her life in a special unit in the Royal Free hospital in London before being discharged, apparently free of Ebola. Nine months later she relapsed as the virus had not cleared from her nervous system and she was back at the Royal Free with meningitis triggered by the virus. . . .
So — here is a heart-felt Irish toast to the true health care heroes — the volunteers, who march right into the path of the storm, where so many others cower in fear. Here’s to Scottish Nurse Pauline Cafferkey. Let history (from this past Thursday, onward) record that she is a true international hero. Onward, indeed. Would that we were all so brave, and perserverant.