Family: Dallas nurse Amber Vinson free of Ebola virus

FORT WORTH — Who would have thought a disease in West Africa would hit North Texas over and over and over again?

"It's been really sobering and eye-opening," said Fort Worth resident Hannah Behrens.

Wednesday night, Fort Worth's religious communities gathered to pray for the well-being of those tormented by Ebola, both in Texas and abroad.

Their timing was unintentionally spot-on. One week after Dallas nurse Amber Vinson had been diagnosed with Ebola, we learned Wednesday the CDC declared her to be Ebola-free.

A just-released photo of Vinson speaks volumes. She's smiling, taking a "selfie" from her hospital bed in Atlanta. Her mother Debra Berry issued a statement. It reads, in part:

"We all know that further treatment will be necessary as Amber continues to regain strength, but these latest developments have truly answered prayers and bring our family one step closer to reuniting with her at home."

Vinson should soon be moved out of isolation. The second Dallas nurse fighting Ebola, Nina Pham, was upgraded Wednesday to "good" condition. The Nolan Catholic High School and TCU graduate warmed hearts last week as she appeared in a video, upbeat, preparing to be transported from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

We also learned Wednesday that Pham's beloved dog, Bentley, had tested negative for Ebola. He'll undergo one more test before his 21-day quarantine ends, and if all goes well, he should be reunited with Pham when she recovers.

"We grieve for Nina Pham and for Amber and their families," said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price at the vigil. "Both of them are going to be fine."

Some back at home believe Vinson's news bodes well for Pham, too.

"We believe there will be more good news coming," said Rev. Lance McCune.

Their hopes from home, they believe, have the power to help heal.


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