Amber Vinson, Nurse Who Had Ebola, Arrives Home in Dallas

Amber Vinson, the Dallas nurse just released from an Atlanta hospital after winning her battle with Ebola, has arrived back home in Dallas.

A twin-engine CareFlite aircraft with Vinson onboard landed at Dallas Love Field shortly after 5 p.m. Emory University Hospital in Atlanta discharged the 29-year-old nurse after tests showed her to be free of the Ebola virus.

Vinson contracted Ebola while working as a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas where she cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died of Ebola at the hospital on Oct. 8.

She hugged her mother and fiancé after stepping off the plane inside a Love Field hangar.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins witnessed the reunion.

“One of the first things I noticed was Amber take out a tissue and blot her mom’s eyes after they hugged,” said Jenkins, with a smile.

The group will be staying at Presbyterian Hospital, since both Vinson’s mother and fiancé remain in isolation for a few more days as they are monitored for possible Ebola symptoms.

“[Vinson] and [Vinson's fiancé] Derrick will be moving into a new apartment, a new bigger apartment, and they'll be moving there probably sometime next week,” said Jenkins.

Another nurse hospitalized with an Ebola infection after treating Duncan, Nina Pham, was released Oct. 24 from a hospital attached to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

"I’m so grateful to be well and first and foremost, I want to thank God," Vinson said earlier Tuesday at Emory Hospital. "I sincerely believe that with God all things are possible."

In a short statement before leaving Atlanta, Vinson thanked her family, doctors and caretakers, including Ebola survivors Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol, both who donated plasma, while asking that "we not lose focus on the thousands of families who continue to labor under the burden of this disease in West Africa" where nearly half of the 10,000 infected have died.

Emory University Hospital spokeswoman Holly Korschun confirmed to the Associated Press that Vinson received blood plasma from Brantly, and said Writebol also donated her plasma, but it wasn't ultimately needed.

Vinson took no questions and asked for privacy for her and her family after they return to Texas.

Officials at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital released a statement that commended Vinson for making "a brave choice to volunteer and provide care for a critically ill Ebola patient."

"Amber and her fellow caregiver, Nina Pham, are an inspiration for healthcare workers nationwide, and we at Texas Health Dallas could not be more proud of them," the release stated.

As of Tuesday, none of those who had contact with Vinson have shown any sign of the virus.

Though no lawsuits have been filed, experts said both Pham and Vinson could sue saying they were not kept safe by their employer. Dallas personal injury lawyer Brent Walker said any potential lawsuit on behalf of Vinson or Pham would likely have to seek a payout through the state worker's compensation system, but that if the women are both able to fully recover and return to normal lives any settlement likely would be limited.

Vinson's family has hired high-profile attorney Billy Martin, who previously represented NFL player Michael Vick.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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