US journalist returns home after Ebola recovery

In this image released by Nebraska Medical Center, from left, Dr. Levy, Mukpo, Ashoka Mukpo and his partner Helen Finlay, embrace shortly after Ashoka, an American video journalist who has recovered from Ebola, was released from Nebraska Medical Center's biocontainment unit, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Nebraska Medical Center, Taylor Wilson)

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (AP) — An American video journalist who recovered from Ebola is back home.

Ashoka Mukpo contracted the virus while working in Liberia as a freelance cameraman for NBC and other media outlets. The 33-year-old Mukpo was released from the Nebraska Medical Center’s biocontainment unit Wednesday and flew back to Rhode Island by private charter later that night with his father and girlfriend.

Dr. Mitchell Levy said Thursday his son is doing well and it’s wonderful to have him home.

“We’re so happy,” Levy said.

Levy also said his son plans to continue his recovery for a few days before reaching out to the media to share his story. He said the family is thankful for everyone’s support.

“Now that Ashoka is back again and gaining his health, I think he wants to speak for himself,” Levy added.

Mukpo arrived at the Nebraska hospital on Oct. 6 and was the second Ebola patient to be treated there. The first, 51-year-old Dr. Rick Sacra, has also recovered.

Mukpo’s treatment included a transfusion from Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, who was treated in Atlanta with an experimental Ebola drug called brincidofovir and fluids.

Hospital officials said Tuesday that Mukpo’s blood had tested negative for the Ebola virus.

In a statement that was read at the hospital, Mukpo said he feels “profoundly blessed to be alive.” He also said he’s well aware of the “global inequalities” that allowed him to be flown to an American hospital, while many Liberians die alone with minimal care.

Liberia is the hardest hit of the West African nations being ravaged by Ebola.

In this image released by Nebraska Medical Center, critical care doctor, Dr. Craig Piquette shakes hands with Ashoka Mukpo, an American video journalist who has recovered from Ebola, as he was released from Nebraska Medical Center's biocontainment unit, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Nebraska Medical Center, Taylor Wilson)
In this image released by Nebraska Medical Center, critical care doctor, Dr. Craig Piquette shakes hands with Ashoka Mukpo, an American video journalist who has recovered from Ebola, as he was released from Nebraska Medical Center’s biocontainment unit, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Nebraska Medical Center, Taylor Wilson)

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