Last October, Nina Pham became the first person to contract Ebola in the United States. Pham, a nurse for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, got the disease from Thomas Eric Duncan. Duncan, who passed away while he was being treated, was a Liberian national and the first-ever Ebola patient in the US. Pham has survived her battle with Ebola, but now she is fighting another battle: she has filed a lawsuit against her employers for contributing to the factors that led to her being contaminated by the deadly disease.
According to reports, Pham is suffering from body aches, hair loss, and other symptoms attributed to post-Ebola syndrome. She is also reportedly fearing the long-term effects of four experimental drugs administered to her by the hospital during her treatment. “The fact is, I’m facing a number of issues with regard to my health and my career and the lawsuit provides a way to address them,” Pham said in a statement with regards to her lawsuit. “But more importantly, it will help uncover the truth of what happened, and educate all health care providers and administrators about ways to be better prepared for the next public health emergency.”
— KING 5 News (@KING5Seattle) March 2, 2015
The lawsuit also alleges that Texas Presbyterian’s parent company, Texas Health Resources, ignored her request for privacy and released information about her to the public in order to boost their PR. On October 16 last year, Texas Health Resources released a grainy video of Pham in a hospital bed. The video was meant to update the public about her condition. According to Pham, the interview was an ambush and that she didn’t consent to being videotaped.
— Audrey Magazine (@audreymagazine) October 17, 2014
In the court filing, Pham also accused Texas Health Resources of ignoring CDC protocol by assigning Duncan to her care. According to Pham, she was not trained with the handling of Ebola patients and that all of the information she used during that time, she acquired from the internet or from conversations with fellow nurses.