DALLAS (AP) — A dated yearbook picture of a smiling young woman has become the latest face of Ebola in the U.S.
The high school picture of Amber Vinson spread across the country after the 29-year-old nurse was confirmed with the virus Wednesday. But little was publicly revealed about her, beyond the image of her with a wide grin, tipped head and shiny pink blouse.
Vinson lived in Akron, Ohio, and went to Kent State University, where she received degrees in 2006 and 2008, the university said. She was licensed as a registered nurse in Ohio on February 2, 2009, and remains licensed there, records show, though she has since moved to Dallas. She became an R.N. in Texas on August 22, 2012.
Vinson lived in an unpretentious rental in The Village, a sprawling series of apartment buildings popular with young professionals and other Dallas newcomers. It's been the home to countless other workers at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, which is just 2 miles away, including other people on the team that cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, the Ebola patient who died Oct. 8.
Medical records provided to The Associated Press by Duncan's family show Vinson inserted catheters, drew blood and dealt with the patient's body fluids. But little else has emerged about the nurse — no obvious profiles on Facebook or LinkedIn, no flood of pictures documenting her life.
Emilia Sykes, who attended high school and Kent State with Vinson, said the two had lost touch, but that Vinson had always been interested in health care.
"We lived on the same end of the dorm together our freshman year. She was working through the nursing program and always knew she'd be a nurse," said Sykes, of Akron, Ohio, who is seeking to replace her term-limited father in the state Legislature.
The most compelling image of the nurse flashed on TV screens Wednesday afternoon, when an ambulance with a crew clad in hazardous-material suits arrived at Presbyterian to head to Dallas Love Field. There, aerial video showed the crew leading a person in a yellow hazmat suit and booties onto a jet. A statement from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta confirmed Vinson would be transferred there. Only after the jet carrying her to Atlanta landed did Presbyterian confirm the transfer.
Associated Press writers Mark Gillispie, Kantele Franko, Jennifer Smola, Ann Sanner and John Seewer in Ohio contributed to this report.