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Sunday, November 9, 2014
- Amber Vinson says she followed all the rules when caring for an Ebola patient. So how did the Texas nurse contract the deadly virus?
"I have no idea," she told CNN. "I go through it almost daily in my mind: what happened, what went wrong. Because I was covered completely every time. I followed the CDC protocol. ... I never strayed. It is a mystery to me."
Vinson, who was declared Ebola-free last week after treatment at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, spoke with CNN's Don Lemon in an exclusive interview scheduled to air Thursday night. She described her experience fighting the deadly virus and fired back at critics who said she should never have boarded commercial flights after treating an Ebola patient.
"I'm a nurse. I care. I care for me, I would not put myself in danger. First, I would not take Ebola to my family and my best girlfriends. I would not endanger families across the nation, potentially exposing them to anything," she said. "I had no symptoms. There was no way. At that time, I could not transmit it."
The 29-year-old nurse chokes up thinking of the harsh reactions of some people after they learned she had Ebola.
"It's just not me," she said. "All I do is care. All I want to do is help. I would never try to hurt anyone."
Vinson's diagnosis came amid a wave of national concern about the possible spread of Ebola in the United States, especially after it became known she had flown on two commercial flights after treating Duncan. She became the second person known to have contracted Ebola in the United States, and the second nurse from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas to get the virus after caring for an Ebola patient.
Learning that her colleague, nurse Nina Pham, had contracted Ebola was a shock, she said.
"My heart dropped," Vinson said. "I was afraid for myself. My first thought was, Nina is a great nurse. I know her nursing. She follows rules and protocol as closely as I do. If this happened to her, it can happen to me. It rocked my world."
Several days later, Vinson was diagnosed with Ebola after returning to Dallas from a trip to visit family in Ohio, where she was planning her wedding.
Days after being inside a bridal shop, she was isolated in a hospital, fending off the virus. It wasn't an easy battle, Vinson told CNN.
"It takes so much out of you. It really does. It is very draining. And even now ... walking a short distance, I get short of breath," she said.
There were several particularly rough days, she said.
"You've got to force yourself to get up, and forcing yourself takes a lot out of you, too," she said. "It's a struggle. You're fighting for your life."
Saturday, November 8, 2014
More than two years after Fox entertainment executive Gavin Smith vanished in Southern California, his body has been found, authorities said. Hikers found his body this week in a shallow grave in Palmdale, California, according to Lt. Dave Dolson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau.
"It's a crucial piece of evidence," Dolson said. "Because of the discovery of Gavin's remains, there's potentially a lot more evidence for us to process."
Smith disappeared in May 2012 after leaving a friend's house without saying where he was going.
His black Mercedes was recovered at a storage facility last year, but his whereabouts remained a mystery. Authorities identified it Wednesday, according to Larry Dietz of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.
A break in the case
Dolson said police "have a pretty good picture" as to what happened the night Smith disappeared.
He said authorities believe they know how and why Smith was killed, but would not share that information with reporters.
"We have witnesses that are paramount to the case," Dolson said. "There was evidence in the car that indicated he was killed in the car."
When asked if Smith's remains showed signs of stabbing or strangulation, Dolson said, "There's indications that there was some trauma."
Dolson said police may not be able to determine the cause of death because the body had been missing for so long. Authorities are not actively looking for anyone in the case, according to Dolson.
Smith, 57, was last seen when he left a friend's house in Ventura County, north of Los Angeles.
When he didn't pick up one of his sons from school, a search ensued, the affiliate reported.
His distraught wife and three sons offered a $20,000 reward for information on his whereabouts, according to the Los Angeles Times.