Zales Gives “Ebola Nurse” Amber Vinson an Engagement Ring

Amber Vinson and Derrick Markay in a screenshot from their interview with ABC affiliate WFAA

Zales has donated an engagement ring to Amber Vinson, the nurse who contracted Ebola after treating a patient in Dallas.

Vinson’s original engagement ring was destroyed, along with many other belongings in her home, after she was diagnosed with Ebola. Vinson spent two weeks at Emory Hospital in Atlanta before being released Oct. 28.

“When we learned that Amber Vinson suffered the loss of her engagement ring, our hearts went out to her,” Kimberly Kanary, vice president of public relations and social media at Zales, tells JCK. “She’s already been through so much, and an engagement ring is such an important symbol of the love and life a couple plans to spend together, that we were moved to help. We wish her all the best as she moves forward.”

Vinson and Derrick Markay, her fiancé, picked out a new ring at the Zales at NorthPark Center in Dallas.

“We went ahead and wanted to step up to get her something that helps celebrate her life and express love,” Zales store manager Chris Nieto told ABC affiliate WFAA. “That’s our mission here.”

“When I found out that Zales had offered to give a ring, I was taken aback by the generosity, because I’ve had so much negativity towards me,” Vinson told the station. She had been widely criticized for flying to Chicago in the days before her diagnosis, but she maintains that not only was she symptom-free until she returned, she had been given the go-ahead by the CDC to make the trip. “For someone to reach out to me with such a positive thing, it put a big smile on my face.… It made my day.”

“I have my life now,” she said. “This ring is a step forward in life.”