He has been labelled a “hero, somebody who is sacrificing to provide care in very difficult circumstances when other health workers are running away”. But it is doubtful that William Pooley, who was flown back to Britain on Sunday night after contracting ebola, would consider himself one.
It was while working as a volunteer in Sierra Leone that Mr Pooley moved to a hospital to work with patients carrying the virus. Like many others providing care in West Africa he was aware of the risks, but was determined to help.
As his family praised the “excellent care” that he was receiving at the Royal Free hospital – in the only unit in Europe designed for patients with highly infectious diseases – they also reminded of those in other parts of the world who do not have access to the same healthcare facilities. While the headlines focus on Mr Pooley, we must also not forget the more than 100 local heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice. They are the ones who, in Mr Pooley’s words, put themselves at risk because “to see [people] recover and walk out the door, it’s great”.
After three editors, almost four years and 1,170 papers, today we finally have two columns written by “Rhodri”. Sadly, it may well be the only time, as this is my final edition as Deputy Editor. (It’s not all bad news though, as the other one is much funnier.)
But with Oly at the helm, ably supported by Siobhan, Fran and others, you’re in good hands. There are too many people to mention individually, but the biggest thanks go to you, the readers. For without you, there wouldn’t be an i.
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