Amy Nelson, Blake Nelson’s wife, a nurse and an alumna of PLNU, talked to The Point over the phone about how she felt about her husband filmed the events surrounding Ebola in Liberia.
The Point: How do you feel about Blake going to Liberia as a nurse and also a wife?
Amy Nelson: When the opportunity was presented to Blake to go to Liberia, my first reaction, well I had two simultaneous reactions. The first was thrilled for him for the opportunity to go because I knew this was part of a dream opportunity for him to be filming a situation like this and to be able to go and help an organization like Heart to Heart. Obviously, I was nervous about the risk that that would be and of course for the time apart. It’s never easy to be apart. Especially once we found out that he would have to do a 21-day quarantine after the trip plus a week there. That’s just a long time apart. I think both of those were competing initially.
The nurse perspective [and the wife perspective] really isn’t that much different. I feel like I was a little more informed but not necessarily because I’m a nurse, but because I was trying to read a lot on the CDC’s [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] website before he went.
How long have you two been married? Is this the longest time you’ve been apart?
AN: We’ve been married four years since July. Over this summer, Blake flew to Guatemala to film for Heart to Heart as well and he was gone for two weeks then. This is definitely the longest stretch, like a month, for when he’s been on this current trip. What I feel makes the difference for us is being able to communicate while he’s gone. When he was in Guatemala we were still able to talk on the phone like every day if not every other day. So for Liberia, we added an international phone plan and we were able to text and talk regularly, which for me makes all the difference.
How are you dealing with the fact that he’s back? Are you just talking on the phone?
AN: [We’re] talking on phone and [using] Skype.
How’s that going?
AN: I mean it’s going. It’s inconvenient because I don’t believe that there is a risk for me to be around him, but I know that his work wanted to take extra precaution for safety. I can respect that and at the same time, it’s inconvenient I would say. But I mean I feel like we’re handling it well.
Were there any people opposed to Blake going to Liberia? How do you feel about people saying that he shouldn’t have gone to Liberia?
AN: I think if we’re in the interest of protecting ourselves and keeping ourselves safe, then sure don’t go to Liberia. But if we’re in the interest of helping others, serving others and trying to respond to this crisis, then anyone who has the opportunity like Blake did should go, like Heart to Heart, should go and train healthcare workers. If your life allows you, then I think we should be there to help whether in treatment centers or infrastructure. I think we have to respond.
I understand that family and friends were worried about him going and that some people thought it was a bad idea, but at the same time he was going with a great organization that was going to take proper precautions, and it was one of the safest ways for him to go.
I’m just really proud of Blake for going and for being willing to do that. I hope that through this and through the video that he’s going to produce that more people will be more concerned about the actual cases there than the threat of cases here stateside.
Read the rest of the story from Blake’s perspective here!