A Spanish nursing assistant who was the first person known to contract Ebola outside West Africa in the current outbreak was discharged from a Madrid hospital on Wednesday after almost a month there.
Teresa Romero, 44, credited her recovery to the care she received at Carlos III Hospital and offered to donate blood to help others infected with the deadly virus. But she was critical of Spanish officials who she said needlessly “executed” her dog, Excalibur.
Romero became ill after helping to care for two Spanish priests who contracted the virus while working in Liberia and Sierra Leone and later died at Carlos III.
Medical officials have suggested that she may have become infected by touching a glove to her face. But Romero said Wednesday that she doesn’t know the source of her illness.
“I don’t know what went wrong. I don’t even know if something I did went wrong. All I know is that I hold no resentment,” she said in a statement she read as she was discharged. “But if getting this disease serves a purpose to anyone, to better study the disease, to help find a vaccine, or if my blood helps cure another person, then here I am.”
Officials said she received a variety of treatments, including the experimental drug Favipiravir and plasma donated by an Ebola survivor. But they said it was impossible to tell what factors contributed to her recovery.
Romero described in vivid detail the loneliness she felt while in isolation. “When I felt I was dying, I would cling to my memories, to my family and my husband,” she said.
Romero’s husband, Javier Limon, read his wife’s remarks about Excalibur, explaining that she was too emotional to talk about the dog, who was like the child they never had, the Associated Press reported.
The decision to euthanize Excalibur caused an uproar among animal rights activists. When American nurse Nina Pham contracted Ebola, her dog, Bentley, was placed in quarantine for 21 days and later reunited with his owner.
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