Nina Pham, a 26-year-old nurse who contracted the deadly Ebola virus while caring for the first person in the United States to be diagnosed with the disease, is now saying that the Dallas hospital where she worked, and its parent company, failed her.
And now she has filed a lawsuit against the hospital’s parent company, Texas Health Resources.
During an exclusive interview with The Dallas Morning News, Pham said even though she survived the virus she still claims to experience regular body aches and insomnia as a result.
Pham alleges that the hospital’s lack of proper equipment and training made her “a symbol of corporate neglect—a casualty of a hospital system’s failure to prepare for a known and impending medical crisis.”
Further in the interview, Pham says that Texas Health Resources was negligent because it failed to develop policies and have proper staff training on how to care for Ebola patients.
Pham said that she and other staff members at the Texas Health Presbyterian hospital were never provided proper protective gear for treating Liberian resident Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person who died in the United States after contracting Ebola while in West Africa.
Pham’s attorney, Charla Aldous, told the newspaper that Texas Health Resources “used Nina as a PR pawn.”
Wendall Watson, a spokesperson for Texas Health Resources, responded to the allegations by saying: “Nina Pham bravely served Texas Health Dallas during a most difficult time. We continue to support and wish the best for her, and we remain optimistic that constructive dialogue can resolve this matter.”
In the lawsuit, Pham aims to ask for unspecified damages for mental anguish and physical pain.
She also seeks compensation for medical expenses and loss of future earnings.
Ultimately though, she claims her goal is to “make hospitals and big corporations realize that nurses and health care workers, especially front line people, are important. And we don’t want nurses to start turning into patients.”
For more information see what Pham’s lawyer has to say in the video below.