Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Eyke: William Pooley, the first Briton to catch Ebola, is improving as he is treated at the Royal Free Hospital

20:04 01 September 2014

William Pooley from Eyke, near Woodbridge, who has contracted Ebola

William Pooley from Eyke, near Woodbridge, who has contracted Ebola


The first Briton to catch the deadly Ebola virus seems to be “pretty well”, his family have said.


William Pooley’s parents said he was showing “good signs” – including ordering a bacon sandwich for breakfast.

The 29-year-old’s parents Robin and Jackie said that their son is better than they thought he would be.

The volunteer nurse was flown back to the UK for treatment after contracting the virus in Sierra Leone.

Robin Pooley told the BBC: “He’s a lot better than we thought he might have been, we’ve only got what the medics tell us, but he’s got a little step in there which the physio gave him so he can rebuild his strength, that in itself is a good enough sign I think, but he seems to be pretty well actually.

“And his appetite is back, it came back with a bacon butty one morning for breakfast.”

Mr Pooley is being carefully monitored at the Royal Free Hospital in north London.

Mrs Pooley said: “We’re very glad he’s here because the care is second to none.”

Mr Pooley, who comes from Eyke in Suffolk, was airlifted back to Britain by a specially equipped C17 RAF jet, and is being treated in a specialist isolation ward at the hospital in Hampstead.

He only broke the news to his family when it was confirmed that he would be flying home, the BBC reported.

Mrs Pooley told the news organisation it was a “very stressful” and anxious time as Mr Pooley had to travel 160 miles to the aircraft which took off from the country’s capital Freetown.

She told the BBC: “It wasn’t until the plane had taken off that we breathed a very, very small sigh of relief, we knew he was on his way home.”

Doctors clad in protective plastic clothing and wearing gloves and masks are caring for him in the strictly monitored ward.

His parents said they have been able to talk to him through a telephone link and have been able to see him indistinctly through the layers of protective glass and plastic.

Mr Pooley has been given the experimental drug ZMapp - which showed further signs of promise last week after researchers successfully treated monkeys with the deadly disease.

All 18 rhesus macaques treated with the drug made a complete recovery, in contrast to three other untreated monkeys that quickly fell seriously ill and died.

ZMapp is a blend of three laboratory-made antibodies designed to neutralise the virus.

Two US doctors given the drug after they were infected with Ebola while working in Liberia subsequently recovered.

But it is not known whether they were saved by the drug or were just lucky - figures show that 47% of those infected in the current outbreak have survived.

At least two other patients treated with ZMapp have died, possibly because help got to them too late.

Latest figures show that more than 1,500 people have been killed in the West Africa outbreak.

But the World Health Organisation has warned that as many as 20,000 could contract the virus before the outbreak is over.



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Pedestrian rail crossing just off Mount Road, Bury St Edmunds.

Lifesaving police officers who pulled a drunk and suicidal man off the train tracks near Bury St Edmunds seconds before a train flew past are up for a national bravery award.

The Memorial Hall  in Drinkstone

The village of Drinkstone is remembering another of its fallen First World War soldiers with a special exhibition.

Georgia and Jodie Mutch have lost 8.5 stone between them after joining Slimming World. The sisters are pictured in Ipswich. Georgis is on left on the latest photo

Jodie Mutch and sister Georgia are celebrating new slim-line figures after losing five stone and three stone respectively.


Four unemployed mechanics turned van thieves who set up a secret “chop shop” to strip down stolen vehicles were foiled when satellite technology led police straight to the site.

Gainsborough's House.

One of the most powerful women in the fashion world is backing a bid to put Gainsborough’s birthplace on the map as a major national tourist attraction.

The woman was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital. Photo credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire


Police are investigating a crash which happened in Beccles yesterday lunchtime.

Thomas Harvey's winning entry in the Landguard Photography Competition 2015.

Stunning photographs of Suffolk’s most southerly point attracted big interest on-line with around 800 people voting for their favourite.

Police attended the accidents

Police were called to several accidents on Suffolk roads this morning.

Police are investigating the incident

Police are investigating an incident where a motorist failed to stop after an accident on the B1117.

Philip Lee

Two taxi drivers who refused to take a blind passenger because of his guide dog have been fined.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages