Local Peace Corps Volunteer Evacuated From Ebola-Stricken West Africa
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Peace Corps is evacuating volunteers from Ebola-stricken West Africa, and that includes a local man.
Matt Flannigan, whose family is from Oakmont, spent two years in the country of Sierra Leone teaching children math and science.
He arrived at Pittsburgh International Airport Thursday night. His family was waiting with balloons, signs and hugs.
“Once all the news kept getting worse and worse, then it’s just, we’re a wreck,” said Lorna Irvin, Matt’s grandma.
His mom, Lisa Flannigan, says there weren’t any Ebola cases in the village where her son was stationed, but there were many cases nearby.
However, she says they weren’t as worried about him getting the virus as they were about him getting out of Africa. Commercial airlines have stopped some flights.
Matt flew to Belgium and then Chicago and then Pittsburgh, and he arrived to cheers from his family.
Flannigan says he was conflicted about leaving, but that it feels good to be home.
“It’s great to be home; it’s been a while,” he said.
He says people are worried where he was, but that the people of Sierra Leone are very kind and dealing with the outbreak as best as they can.
“Where I was in my community, my people took care of me and it had not reached my district,” he said.
PSU Fellow Cuts West Africa Trip Short Due To Ebola Outbreak (8/1/14)
UPMC Prepared To Care For Ebola Patients (8/5/14)
CBS News Coverage of the Ebola Outbreak
More Reports by David Highfield