Freelance NBC Photographer Discharged from the Hospital

Ashoka Mukpo, a freelance Photographer that was working with NBC when he contracted Ebola was discharged from the hospital a shot time ago.

Mukpo released a statement while leaving the hospital. In that statement he praised NBC for their help and compassion. 

"I want to give a special thank you to NBC News, who went above and beyond in the support they gave me throughout my illness. It is a storied news organization that proved to me they understand the value of compassion for their colleagues," he said in the statement.

Here is his full statement:

"Today is a joyful day for my family and I. After enduring weeks where it was unclear whether I would survive, I’m walking out of the hospital on my own power, free from Ebola. This blessing is in no small measure a result of the world class care I received at the Nebraska Medical Center. When Dr. Smith and his team first received me, I was in a difficult situation and was quite sick. The professionalism and confidence of the team instantly reassured me that I was in good hands. The nursing staff was incredibly calm and handled my symptoms in a manner that clearly reflected strong training and preparedness. Their Midwestern friendliness was a welcome presence in a dark time, and I was grateful for their efforts to connect with me on a personal level. On the bright side of my bout with Ebola, I was introduced by the nurses to something called a ‘Runza.’ Dr. Smith’s professional manner was impressive even when I was at my sickest, and there’s not a doctor in America I would have rather had watching over me. This is a truly impressive team, and it’s no wonder I beat Ebola with them watching my back. I owe this staff a debt I can’t ever repay.

Prior to my arrival in the U.S., I received invaluable assistance from the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia in arranging an evacuation. I was treated with personal attention and tangible concern by both institutions. I’ve never felt more fortunate to be American. Thank you to Julie in Monrovia for your updates and dedication to helping me.

In Liberia, doctors and staff at MSF (Medecins Sans Frontieres) went above and beyond the call of duty in caring for me during the early days of my illness. I saw firsthand how difficult it is to work in that facility, and I have no words that can adequately thank their staff for the attention they gave me during a time when I was at my most vulnerable. To Dr. Dan and the rest – thank you, and my heart goes out to you for the difficult and exhausting work you do. It’s a truly selfless and thankless job. You are a brave bunch of people.

I want to give a special thank you to NBC News, who went above and beyond in the support they gave me throughout my illness. It is a storied news organization that proved to me they understand the value of compassion for their colleagues. I’m proud to be associated with them, and offer my deep and endless gratitude for their generosity. Dr. Nancy Snyderman and her team were incredible to work with – I admire all of them both professionally and personally and want to thank them for their concern and thoughtfulness.

Thank you to Dr. Kent Brantly, whose generous blood donation played a pivotal role in my recovery. May his health flourish and his compassion be known to all.

I feel profoundly blessed to be alive, and in the same breath aware of the global inequalities that allowed me to be flown to an American hospital when so many Liberians die alone with minimal care. This circumstance weighs on my heart. I feel connected to all who have battled this disease and I now have some understanding of the fear that comes with a positive diagnosis. I saw many haunting images in Liberia that I will carry through my life. Nobody deserves to die under the circumstances that have existed in West Africa since this outbreak began. I hope our global community will ramp up its efforts to curtail the epidemic but also to save the lives of the sick. I know firsthand that this disease is treatable and hope that some approximation of the care I received can be given to sick Africans. My prayers are with the Liberian, Sierra Leonean, and Guinean people.

In the coming weeks I plan to discuss my experiences both in writing and in conversations with members of the press. For today, I’ve chosen to do one interview and save my energy for my family, who I love deeply and whose unwavering support sustained me both physically and spiritually in this ordeal. There’s no way to express how much I’m looking forward to seeing them face to face. After a period of rest and time spent with my family, I will begin to think about how to approach the media. For now, I ask for space and privacy.

The world is a beautiful and tragic place. I saw both sides in the last few weeks. Every breath I take is an opportunity to give thanks and appreciate the blessing of life. I will never forget how fortunate I am."