THE blistering heat and near-unbearable conditions are something Anne Evans will never forget.
The Chief Petty Officer and infection control nurse was one of the last people to be deployed to the Ebola treatment centre in Kerry Town, Sierra Leone.
‘The protective suit we were wearing meant you sweated a lot,’ said the 41-year-old. ‘One day I lost 1.4kg in just two hours. It was very hard work.’
She spent almost three months out in Africa helping at the treatment centre, which looked after heathcare workers suspected of contracting the illness.
The area had been an Ebola hotspot, treating hundreds of victims.
However, when the Gosport mum-of-two arrived, the number of infected patients had declined significantly since the outbreak’s start.
Nonetheless, the fear of accidentally contracting the disease was still there.
‘I was a bit nervous about it but because my trade was as an infection control nurse I had a better understanding of the disease transmission and how to prevent catching it.’
In spite of her confidence, her husband Jonathan, 44, remained concerned.
‘I was naturally worried,’ he said. ‘It wasn’t that long prior that a reserve girl out there caught Ebola.’
He added it was hard to not see her for months but explained the family had grown used to it – he had served in the Royal Navy as an engineer for 22 years and been on several deployments, some lasting eight months.
‘It was great to have her back though,’ the former Chief Petty Officer admitted.
The pair have two children, Harry, 14 and James, 10.