Mommy's coming, Bentley!
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Dallas nurse Nina Pham, who last week was declared Ebola-free and discharged from the National Institutes of Health's hospital in Maryland, will finally reunite with her dog, Bentley, who has been in quarantine for 21 days over fears that he, too, would develop the deadly virus.
"She's pretty excited," Dallas spokeswoman Sana Syed told ABC News. "We've been talking to her every day."
Pham is expected to reunite with Bentley Saturday morning, give a short statement and accept a gift basket filled with donations from people around the country, Syed said.
Pham, 26, contracted Ebola while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, a native of Liberia who was the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States and also the only person to die of the disease in the U.S.
Pham, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, was diagnosed with Ebola and isolated on Oct. 11. She was then transferred to the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on Oct. 16 and discharged on Oct. 24.
Bentley's quarantine won't be over until Nov. 1, so his veterinarians thought it best not to confuse Bentley with visits from Pham if he couldn't go home, Syed said. Caregivers feared if Bentley saw Pham and she left, he might become anxious or depressed, and have other health concerns.
"It's been a tough week for her, since she's been back and obviously wanted to see Bentley right away," Syed said, adding that Pham has maintained her distance.
Over the last three weeks, the King Charles cavalier spaniel has been cared for by a crew of veterinarians in isolation at Hensley Field in Dallas, she said.
"They played with him and hugged him, really just gave him that attention he needed during this time," Syed said. "They dedicated so much time caring for Bentley to make sure he got loved during this isolation period."
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Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Duncan is a native of Libya. He is from Liberia.