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At Fort Worth Church, Friends Pray For Nurse With Ebola

Doualy Xaykaothao
On Monday night, friends of Nina Pham, the nurse wih Ebola, prayed for her at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Fort Worth. Rev. Jim Khoi said he hopes she can be healed.

Close friends of the young health care worker diagnosed with Ebola describe her as a nurse with passion. On Monday night, they prayed for her.

Nina Pham loves her patients – and loves taking care of others, her friends say.

Pham is from Fort Worth and has been in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital since Friday.

The family’s pastor says Pham has received a blood transfusion from Kent Brantley, the Fort Worth-trained doctor who survived Ebola.

On Monday night, friends gathered at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Fort Worth.

In Vietnamese, they prayed for Pham, 26, a TCU alumna who graduated from Nolan Catholic High School.  

“It’s heartbroken when we hear one of our parishioners have this disease, but it’s nothing different from hearing that someone got cancer,” said Hung Le, a church leader who’s known Pham since she was a little girl. He says she’s smart, and more mature than her age. 

“Nina knew the risk, coming into her career, as a nurse, and I think she could contract any other disease, not just this unfortunate Ebola,” Le said.

Le says he and other church members have faith that Pham will recover. Before the mass, Rev. Jim Khoi explained that Pham received blood transfusions yesterday from a man he couldn’t name, but called him a “nice” guy.

“So I can hope very strongly that she can be healed,” Khoi said.

Church members have been asking him a lot about Ebola.

“Worry, everybody worries,” Khoi said. “Who knows who can be infected. … Anything happens. It’s God’s will.”

Kim Tran says she believes this, too. She’s also known the family for years, and stays in contact daily with Pham’s mom, Diana.

“We question, why did it happen to her?” Tran said. “But, really, father, before mass, he did say everything happens for a reason.”

Tran says maybe what happened to Pham will force hospitals to change how health-care workers are trained in the U.S. 

“Get better treatment, and get better care,” Tran said. “Get better preventive care for all the physicians and nurses who take care of infected patients.”

The commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services says Presbyterian is working hard on her care right now.

Doualy Xaykaothao is a newscaster and reporter for NPR, based in Culver City. She returned to NPR for this role in 2018, and is responsible for writing, producing, and delivering national newscasts. She also reports on breaking news stories for NPR.