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Tuesday 23rd September 2014
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Will Pooley 'Optimistic' Of Recovery From Ebola

Tuesday, 26th August 2014 13:37

The boss of the hospice where Britain's first ebola victim had worked before he caught the disease says his former colleague is "optimistic" he will be back working there soon.

Gabriel Madiye, of the Shepherd Hospice in Freetown, said Will Pooley had told him he believes he will recover in a little as two weeks.

The 29-year-old nurse is being treated in an isolation ward at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north London, after being flown back to the UK from West Africa on Sunday.

There has been no word from doctors at the hospital on his progress but Mr Madiye said Mr Pooley had been confident he would pull through.

Mr Madiye said: "Will told me that he has been seriously ill and tested for ebola and he told me I don't need to help him because he's already being helped by the British government.

"(He told me) that he will be treated in England and he is very optimistic that he will recover in a matter of two weeks and after that he will come back to me."

Up to 90% of people who catch ebola die from the virus.

The World Health Organisation says that more than 2,500 people have died as a result of the latest outbreak in West Africa so far.

Mr Pooley, from Eyke, in Suffolk, worked at the hospice in Freetown before moving to the ebola centre in Kenema, Sierra Leone, where he was infected.

He was airlifted back to Britain by a specially equipped C-17 RAF jet, and is being treated by doctors clad in protective plastic clothing, gloves and masks.

Experts said his treatment could take weeks, if not longer, and there is no guarantee he will survive.

His family have said they were confident he could not be treated at any "better place".

Days before he contracted the disease, he told The Guardian newspaper about the joy of seeing ebola victims make a full recovery.

He said: "It's great seeing them walk away after some of them have been in a terrible state. Seeing them on the wards and then seeing them recover and walk out the door is great."

Friends have paid tribute to his bravery after he left Freetown and went to Kenema because workers were falling ill.

Oliver Johnson, who worked with him in Sierra Leone, said he was an "extraordinary guy" who knew the risks but was prepared to take them for the patients.

Dr Robert Garry, an American colleague at the hospital, said: "He saw the need. He read about our nurses who were unfortunately dying there and took it on himself to come over and volunteer and learned how to be as safe as he could.

"But when you work hard like that ... you're going to make a mistake and unfortunately that seems to have happened in this case."