clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ebola survivor Nina Pham is suing the hospital chain she says botched her case

Ebola survivor Kent Brantly (l), Nina Pham's mother and Nina Pham.
Ebola survivor Kent Brantly (l), Nina Pham's mother and Nina Pham.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Nina Pham, the nurse who was the first person to ever contract Ebola in the United States last October, will be filing a law suit today against the hospital chain where she worked and got the virus.

In an exclusive interview with Dallas Morning News, Pham told the paper that she's still recovering from the disease, suffering with aches and pains, insomnia, hair loss, and fatigue. The nurse, an employee of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, says that the hospital lacked preparedness and training in dealing with the disease and committed what she alleges were violations of her privacy by sharing information about her condition.

Through a lawsuit against the hospital's parent company, she will be be seeking unspecified damages for the physical and mental pain she has endured throughout this ordeal, as well as to compensate for losses to future earnings and medical expenses.

She told the newspaper that she wants to "make hospitals and big corporations realize that nurses and health care workers, especially frontline people, are important. And we don't want nurses to start turning into patients."

According to CNN, a Texas Health Resources spokesman issued a statement in response to the lawsuit:

"Nina Pham bravely served Texas Health Dallas during a most difficult time. We continue to support and wish the best for her, and we remain optimistic that constructive dialogue can resolve this matter."

Ebola arrives in Dallas

Pham tested positive for the disease on October 12, 2014. She contracted the virus from Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national and the first-ever Ebola patient in the US.

Duncan died in the hospital, but he passed the virus on to Pham and another nurse who had been caring for him. Pham was the first-ever transmission of the virus in the US, and her colleague, Amber Vinson, the second. Both were later discharged from the hospital, virus- free.

But the after-effects haven't been easy to deal with, according to Pham's interview with the Dallas paper. She describes being treated like a guinea pig at the hospital, receiving three experimental drugs and being at the whim of a bureaucracy that bungled its handling of this deadly disease.