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Nurse who helped fight Ebola in line for a royal accolade

A nurse who flew to Sierra Leone to help fight Ebola has headed to Africa for a second time to help patients fighting the deadly disease.

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) Nursing graduate Hannah McReynolds left the UK yesterday as part of a team from humanitarian aid organisation International Medical Corps UK (IMC).

The news comes as Her Majesty The Queen signed off on plans to award a "special medal" to those who volunteered to help those infected with the deadly virus.

Hannah, who works at the Leicester Royal Infirmary and graduated from DMU in 2011, helped more than 100 patients during her first visit over Christmas and New Year. 

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She flew out over Christmas and New Year to work at the Ebola Treatment Centre, a makeshift camp in Makeni. Hannah was one of about 200 volunteers from all over the world.

She said: “I did it because it was the right thing to do. Every single nurse working over there – including the national nurses – deserve a medal.

“What we have done is just a snippet of what the national nurses do over there. We get to return to our nice beds and comfortable homes but the national nurses over there live like that every day, they don’t get a break.”

Hannah returned to her job as an A&E nurse at Leicester Royal Infirmary in the middle of February and she praised her colleagues for their support.

She said: “I like to think my experience has made me more organised and it has confirmed just how lucky we are here in the UK.”

At the camp, volunteers had to wear full personal protective equipment and work in pairs to ensure that it was put on and taken off correctly.

Hannah, who lives in Leicester’s West End, is modest about her award: “I didn’t expect it, not at all,” she said. “It will be very special.”

Posted on Monday 6th April 2015

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