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I knew death was imminent': nurse Pauline Cafferkey on surviving Ebola

Pauline Cafferkey opens her bathroom cabinet and reaches for a tub of tablets.

“So this is where I keep medications,” she explains in a quiet, matter-of-fact voice, before taking me through the roster of drugs she takes daily, to keep epileptic seizures, spinal swelling, nerve pain and generalised body aches at bay.

Considering what Cafferkey has been through, this is nothing - and her tiny flat in Cambuslang, Glasgow feels a million miles from the hell of the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, where she contracted the disease that nearly killed her twice and hospitalised her for a third time just this February. 

Cafferkey finds it hard to tell her story - not just because it’s a terrible one, but because she quite simply yearns for anonymity. She decided to speak to me for the first time since her last relapse, for a documentary to be broadcast on ITV’s Tonight Programme this Thursday, in the hope of bringing her tortuous ordeal to a close. To be able to get on with being a nurse again.

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