The Countess of Wessex has paid tribute to a nurse who contracted Ebola while volunteering in Sierra Leone. Corporal Anna Cross made a full recovery after receiving an experimental new treatment. On Monday, the courageous medical worker was Sophie's guest at a reception in Buckingham Palace.
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Sophie Wessex meets nurse Anna Cross
Cpl Cross was among personnel from Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps, which is the Army's nursing branch, and Royal Free Hospital to enjoy royal hospitality.
Joined by her mother Mevelyn, 25-year-old Anna looked thrilled to be receiving VIP treatment. In March, she became the first Briton to test positive for Ebola and was evacuated back home on an RAF plane. During her illness Anna lost 22lb (10kg) and spent 14 days being treated at the Royal Free Hospital.
Anna survived Ebola after being treated with an experimental drug
She was the first person in the world to survive Ebola after being given MIL 77. Speaking on her discharge, the military medic said she cried on learning that she would live.
Anna thanked her doctors, saying: "They are an incredible bunch of clinicians - incredibly skilled, incredibly dedicated and incredibly professional. Thanks to them I'm alive."
The nurse has said she would like to continue volunteering with the Army, but is doubtful that she will return to Sierra Leone.
She and her mother were among guests at Buckingham Palace
Sophie hosted the afternoon tea in her capacity as Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps. The royal also heard from some of the staff at the Royal Free Hospital's specialist isolation unit about the work they do.
Prince Edward's wife has always given special support to the NHS ever since a life-saving caesarean after complications during her pregnancy with Lady Louise.