A Scottish nurse who fought off Ebola has given birth to twins, telling those who have suffered that “there is a future” after the disease.
Pauline Cafferkey, 43, delivered two boys in Glasgow, Scotland on Tuesday.
She became ill with the viral disease in 2014, during the epidemic that killed tens of thousands of people in West Africa.
After spending weeks in an isolation unit, Cafferkey was cleared of the disease, but she has been readmitted to hospital on a number of occasions since.
“I would like to thank all the wonderful NHS staff who have helped me since I became ill in 2014 right through to having my babies this week,” Cafferkey said in a statement.
“This shows that there is life after Ebola and there is a future for those who have encountered this disease,” she added. The mother and her babies are “doing well,” a spokesperson for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said.
The arrival marks a happy development in a long and difficult journey for the public health nurse, who caught Ebola while working in Sierra Leone with the charity Save the Children.
The devastating Ebola epidemic was in full swing during her stint, though Cafferkey did not learn that her own life was at risk until she fell ill shortly after touching back down in the UK.
She was then diagnosed with Ebola and was moved for intensive treatment to London’s Royal Free Hospital, which has an isolation unit tended by trained medical staff and a tent with controlled ventilation set up over the patient’s bed.
At one point during that initial stay, the hospital said Cafferkey’s condition had “gradually deteriorated” and that she was in a critical condition. Nonetheless, she rallied and weeks later was allowed to go home.
Around 11,000 people died during the epidemic, according to the World Health Organization, and new vaccines and treatments have since been introduced to stem the spread of the disease.
A new Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, however, has made the long-feared jump across borders, with three cases confirmed Wednesday in Uganda.