Sunday June 14, 2015
- Queen's honour for UK nurse who risked life and limb in the
fight against the Ebola Virus Disease scourge in Sierra Leone.
Will Pooley is now MBE for his remarkable bravery and care for
the people of Sierra Leone.
The man who risked everything
including dear life to battle the Ebola Virus Disease scourge
has been honoured by the Queen on her birthday list in which
tributes are paid for outstanding men and women for their
contribution in various fields of human endeavour.
This was a
part of the brief on
the BBC website -
"A British nurse who
contracted Ebola last year during his work in Sierra Leone, has
been recognised in the Queen's birthday honours list. Will Pooley, 30, has been made an MBE for his services in combating
the disease outbreak in west Africa.
The nurse, from Suffolk,
recovered fully and returned to Sierra Leone in October and is
now back in the UK. There were at least nine MBEs for other
nurses and about 7% of all the honours' recipients were from the
health sector. Oliver Johnson, programme director for the King's
Sierra Leone Partnership for whom Mr Pooley worked, was made an
Mr Pooley, from the Suffolk village of Eyke, travelled to
eastern Sierra Leone in the summer of 2014 and in August, just
six weeks after his arrival, became the first Briton to be
evacuated from west Africa with the virus.
Mr Pooley did not
want to comment on his award, but his mother Jackie told the
Press Association news agency that the family was "very proud"
of him and he is hoping to continue with his nursing career.
are very proud because he followed what he wanted to do. He
followed it through even when it was uncomfortable and dangerous
and he was quite aware that he was putting his life on the
line," she said.
Mr Pooley had to be airlifted back to the UK
for treatment for the virus. He was treated in a special
isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London where he was
given the experimental drug ZMapp.
He told the BBC afterwards
how scared he had been. It
was a story of belief, frustration, dedication and a
determination to all and sundry about the need for the
international community to come to the rescue of a Sierra Leone
that appeared helpless in the grip of a ravaging disease that
was snuffing the life out of people in a most painful and
horrific manner. This was the picture painted by one BBC
reporter in Freetown Tulip Mazumdar.
"The British nurse who has
returned to Sierra Leone after recovering from Ebola has told
the BBC he is "frustrated" by the "woefully slow" international
response to the outbreak. William Pooley is back at the heart of
the crisis, treating patients in the capital Freetown.
It's 8am and a queue of desperate-looking people are standing
outside the gates of Connaught Hospital in Freetown.
The 18-bed Ebola isolation ward, run by the British-based King's
Sierra Leone Partnership, has been at capacity for three months.
But a bed has become free overnight after another patient, a man
in his 30s, passed away.
It's one in, one out, and the medic
deciding who will get a bed first today is British nurse Will Pooley.
There are four people lying in the recently erected white
screening tent. Patients are assessed and then put inside the
tent if they are suspected of having Ebola.
All four patients look gaunt and terrified.
One woman lies on
the floor retching. She can barely keep her eyes open. This
morning, however, she is the "lucky" one who will be given a
Many like her have died on the floor of this tent before a
space has become free.
The others will have to wait. No one knows how long for, and
whether they'll still be alive when the next bed becomes free.
This is the crisis Will has chosen to return to.
"It's really good to be back. I never meant to leave Sierra
Leone. I didn't want to go, so being back feels like I'm back
where I should be. I feel like I'm doing a worthwhile jobÖ I'm a
nurse and this is where they need nurses."
Kindly recall that we closely
followed this brave nurse who dared to go back to Sierra Leone
after he recovered from a disease that could have killed him.
On Sunday August 24, 2014
we had this story when news broke that he had been infected.
male nurse working with Ebola-infected patients in Kenema and
who got infected with the deadly virus is back in the United
Kingdom after being flown on board a specially-equipped Royal
Air Force (RAF) C-17 plane. The plane carrying him is reported
to have touched down at about 8pm gmt at an RAF facility from
where, escorted by police cars and motor bikes for ease of
movement on the road was taken to a special isolation unit at
the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead Heath in London.
According to the UK-based Daily
Mail, 29 year-old male nurse William Pooley, though not attached
to any recognised charity took upon himself the task of getting
to Sierra Leone to help out after he'd seen and heard reports of
just how bad the situation was in Sierra Leone where the health
delivery system appeared to be overwhelmed by the vicious and
treacherous attacks of the disease.
Recall too that even as we carried
various Christmas message from world leaders, we could not help
but bring to you
the Channel 4 Alternative
which was delivered by William Pooley - again calling attention
to the plight of the afflicted in Sierra Leone. This is what he
"Six weeks after
starting work in Kenema government hospital
I developed symptoms. I was tested and
later that day I awoke to find a colleague
standing over me in protective gear. He told me Iíd been
infected with Ebola. In the end I was
extremely fortunate. My colleagues worked
night and day to get me flown back to
Britain for the best available treatment at
the Royal Free in London.
After I recovered I
decided that I wanted to return to Sierra
Leone and continue my work there as a nurse. My exposure to this
disease reinforced the belief that when
people need help itís important that itís
given. I realise I was
incredibly lucky, lucky to be born in a
wealthy country, lucky to be well educated,
lucky to have access to the best possible
treatment for this awful disease.
Thousands of people
here in west Africa have not had that luck.
They have died often lonely, miserable
deaths without access to proper medical
attention. This is a good time
to think about the sheer fortune of where
and when we happen to be born.
Christmas should focus our minds on our
kinship with people in all corners of the
globe. We are all brothers and sisters. Iím
sure we would all help a brother or sister
We join the many
true Sierra Leoneans and friends of the country
in congratulating William Pooley for the
recognition of his work by Her Majesty the