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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Officials at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas have moved nurse Nina Pham, the first American to contract Ebola on U.S. soil, from their facility.
Pham is being transferred to the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The facility is one of four hospitals in the United States specialized to treat Ebola.
The ground ambulance left the hospital at 5:50 p.m. (CST), headed to Dallas Love Field Airport. A Centers for Disease Control air ambulance was waiting there to fly Pham to the NIH facility. After arriving at the airport at 6:23 p.m. crews prepared to move Pham from the ground ambulance, to the airplane.
By 6:30 p.m. Pham emerged from the ambulance, wearing yellow protective clothing, and walked, under her own volition, onto the CDC plane. On-board the Gulfstream III aircraft, Pham was placed in an Aeromedical Biological Containment System. Once Pham and the other passengers were secure, the plane took off for Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, Maryland at 7:10 p.m. The airport is about 35 miles from the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.
Less than three hours after taking off from Love Field the plane touched down in Maryland. Pham, wearing protective gear, again walked off the plane and climbed into an ambulance.
There was quite a crowd for the nurse before she left Dallas. When the ambulance arrived at Presbyterian Hospital and prepared to take the 26-year-old to the airport, more than 100 people, mostly hospital staff, gathered outside, some waving signs of support. The group began cheering and some cars honked their horns as the nurse left a Presbyterian Hospital garage, bound for the airport.
As of Thursday afternoon Pham was still in good condition.
Presbyterian Hospital issued a statement explaining that with so many ICU healthcare workers sidelined, because of possible exposure, it is in the best interest of the hospital and of Pham to make the move.
Officials said their goal is to, “give the hospital an opportunity to prepare for whatever comes next.”
Earlier Thursday Pham asked the hospital to release the following statement –
“I’m so thankful for the outpouring of love and support from friends and family, my coworkers and complete strangers. I feel very blessed, and have gained strength from their support. I appreciate everything that my coworkers have done to care for me at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. I’m doing really well thanks to this team, which is the best in the world. I believe in my talented coworkers. I am #presbyproud!”
CBS 11 News reporter Joel Thomas is headed to Maryland as well and will have coverage on the ground of Pham’s arrival and recovery process.
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