Dallas Nurse Battling Ebola Says She's 'Doing Well'

Nina Pham has received blood from Ebola survivor Kent Brantly.

ByABC News
October 14, 2014, 12:52 PM

— -- Dallas nurse Nina Pham, who contracted Ebola while treating a Liberian patient who died of the disease, issued an upbeat statement today saying that she is "doing well"

Pham has received a potentially life-saving transfusion from Dr. Kent Brantly, the missionary doctor who beat the virus two months ago, ABC News has learned.

Brantly flew to Dallas on Sunday, one day after Pham tested positive for the virus, sources said. He donated his blood, packed with antibodies that should fight the disease.

Jeremy Blume, a spokesman for the nonprofit medical mission group Samaritan's Purse, confirmed that the plasma donation came from Brantly. The missionary had received an experimental treatment and fought off the virus, and has donated blood for transfusions for three others, including Pham.

Pham, 26, expressed her gratitude today in a statement issued by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas where she worked and is now a patient.

“I’m doing well and want to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers. I am blessed by the support of family and friends and am blessed to be cared for by the best team of doctors and nurses in the world here at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas,” she said in her statement.

Hospital CEO Barclay Berdan said the hospital staff "are working tirelessly to help her in this courageous fight."

Members of Our Lady of Fatima Church in Fort Worth, Texas -- the church that Pham’s family attends -- held a special mass Monday. Rev. Jim Khoi said the family remains hopeful.

“She’s doing well, she’s being treated very well, and she feels comfortable,” Khoi said.

Brantly’s blood donation was welcome information for Pham’s family and friends, Khoi said.

“I think that is very good news right there,” he said.

Nina Pham is seen in this undated handout photo provided by her family.

Pham remains in isolation and health officials still aren’t sure how she contracted Ebola.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is doubling its manpower at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, and CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden says the agency is reconsidering its approach to Ebola.

Pham may not be the only person that became infected while treating Duncan, Frieden said.

“It is possible that other individuals could have been infected,” Frieden said.

Pham was among about 70 staff members at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, according to medical records. They drew his blood, put tubes down his throat and wiped up his diarrhea. They analyzed his urine and wiped saliva from his lips, even after he had lost consciousness.

The nurse, who graduated from Texas Christian University’s nursing program in 2010, was in his room often, from the day he was placed in intensive care until the day before he died.

Nina Pham is seen in this undated handout photo provided by her family.

Pham and other health care workers wore protective gear, including gowns, gloves, masks and face shields -- and sometimes full-body suits -- when caring for Duncan, but Pham became the first person to contract the disease within the United States. Duncan died last Wednesday.

Among the things the CDC will investigate is how the workers took off protective gear, because removing it incorrectly can lead to contamination. Investigators will also look at dialysis and intubation -- the insertion of a breathing tube in a patient's airway. Both procedures have the potential to spread the virus.

Ebola has killed more than 4,000 people, mostly in the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, according to recent figures by the World Health Organization.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.