By Thomas Duncan
Glasgow nurse Pauline Cafferkey is to return to Sierra Leone for the first time since she contracted the deadly Ebola virus three years ago.
Ms Cafferkey has fallen ill on several occasions since recovering from the disease but now wants to return to Sierra Leone for “closure”.
Speaking to the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme, she said going back to Sierra Leone will be “psychologically important”.
She said: “It’s where things kind of started for me and I’ve had a terrible couple of years since then.
“So it will be good to go back just for things to come full circle for me and a little bit of closure.
“Most people have been supportive if they know that I’m going back. I’ve had a few people, like family friends, who say ‘just be careful when you get back there’.”
The 41 year old though is going back with no fear and indeed said she was “excited” and is “not going there with any trepidation”.
Ms Cafferkey is planning to run a 10km run as part of the trip, to raise money for Street Child, a UK charity which helped youngsters affected by the epidemic.
Its figures estimate that 12,000 children were left orphaned by Ebola, with a further 1,400 still struggling to survive.
Over 11,000 Ebola-related deaths were reported during the epidemic and there were up to 28,000 cases of infection.
Ms Cafferkey travelled around Sierra Leone for Save the Children and returned home for what was supposed to be a rotational break in December 2014.
She returned to Glasgow but fell seriously ill just days later. She was cleared by doctors in January 2015 but has been readmitted to hospital on two occasions since.
She faced disciplinary proceedings for allowing her temperature to be recorded incorrectly on her return, but was cleared of dishonesty by the Nursing and Midwifery Council in 2016, who stated that she was so impaired by her illness that she could not be held responsible.
To donate to Ms Cafferkey’s fundraising trip visit: https://sierraleonemarathon2017.everydayhero.com/uk/pauline