Christian Dr. Kent Brantly Gives Blood Transfusion to Ebola Infected Dallas Nurse Nina Pham

( [email protected] ) Oct 14, 2014 01:47 PM EDT
Dr. Kent Brantly Gives Blood to Nina Pham
(Left to right) Dr. Kent Brantly (left), who has survived Ebola, has given Nina Pham (right) a blood transfusion. 26-year-old Dallas nurse Pham has been in quarantine since Friday after catching the disease from 'patient zero' Thomas Eric Duncan - the man who brought the deadly virus to America. (AP)

A Dallas nurse diagnosed with the Ebola virus has received a blood transfusion from Samaritan's Purse aid worker and Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly.

Brantly traveled to Dallas on Sunday to make the donation for 26 year old Nina Pham, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who helped to treat a Liberian man who died there last week.

Father Jim Khoi, who is Pham's pastor, called Brantly a "good" and "devoted" man. He added that Pham is in good spirits, using Skype to communicate with her mom, and asking for prayers.

Health officials are currently trying to determine how Pham was infected as her role in treating the man who died in Dallas, Thomas Eric Duncan, has not been released. Experts hope the antibodies in Brantly's blood will kick-start Pham's immune response to Ebola, reports NBC News.

On Monday, Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said that his agency was improving the protocols used by health care workers.

"Stopping Ebola is hard," Frieden said Monday. "We're working together to make it safer and easier."

Related: Ebola Dr. Kent Brantly Issues First Statement: 'I Witnessed Horrors First Hand', 'Thank God for His Mercy' 

Related: Ebola-Infected Dallas Nurse ID'd as Nina Pham, 26, a 'Big Heart' Christian; Gets Blood Transfusion from Survivor 

Related: Nina Pham, Christian Dallas Nurse with Ebola, Releases Statement: 'Thankful for Prayers, I'm Doing Well' 

Frieden said that since the CDC doesn't know how Pham contracted Ebola in the isolation unit, it's possible others were infected, too.

"We have to rethink the way we address Ebola infection control, because even a single infection is unacceptable," Frieden said, adding that Pham was "clinically stable."

Both Pham and Brantly have sacrificed tremendously and risked their lives to help others.

On Sunday, Pham's Bible-study teacher told Dallas Morning News that she is a loving, highly motivated nurse who lives to care for others. "The family is very dedicated and go out of their way to help people," Tom Ha, who taught Pham in a bible class, said. "I expect, with the big heart she has, she went beyond what she was supposed to do to help anyone in need."

Brantly, who got the disease in July while treating patients in Liberia for Samaritan's Purse, also has given blood to treat at least two other people: Dr. Rick Sacra, an American who also got the virus in Liberia, and NBC News freelance camera operator Ashoka Mukpo, who was infected while covering the outbreak in West Africa. Sacra was treated at The Nebraska Medical Center, where Mukpo is currently hospitalized.