American Ebola patient Dr. Kent Brantly releases statement, asks for prayers

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Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, arrived Saturday in Atlanta from Liberia, where he and another American missionary worker contracted the deadly virus while caring for Ebola patients.

He released his first statement on Friday:

“I am writing this update from my isolation room at Emory University Hospital, where the doctors and nurses are providing the very best care possible. I am growing stronger every day, and I thank God for His mercy as I have wrestled with this terrible disease. I also want to extend my deep and sincere thanks to all of you who have been praying for my recovery as well as for Nancy and for the people of Liberia and West Africa.

My wife Amber and I, along with our two children, did not move to Liberia for the specific purpose of fighting Ebola. We went to Liberia because we believe God called us to serve Him at ELWA Hospital.

One thing I have learned is that following God often leads us to unexpected places. When Ebola spread into Liberia, my usual hospital work turned more and more toward treating the increasing number of Ebola patients. I held the hands of countless individuals as this terrible disease took their lives away from them. I witnessed the horror first-hand, and I can still remember every face and name.

When I started feeling ill on that Wednesday morning, I immediately isolated myself until the test confirmed my diagnosis three days later. When the result was positive, I remember a deep sense of peace that was beyond all understanding. God was reminding me of what He had taught me years ago, that He will give me everything I need to be faithful to Him.

Now it is two weeks later, and I am in a totally different setting. My focus, however, remains the same – to follow God. As you continue to pray for Nancy and me, yes, please pray for our recovery. More importantly, pray that we would be faithful to God’s call on our lives in these new circumstances.”

From an early age, Brantly was driven by his faith in God to make a difference, friends and former colleagues said. He took mission trips to Uganda, Honduras, Nicaragua, Tanzania and Haiti, they said.

“He intended to be a missionary before he became a doctor,” friend Kent Smith, an elder at Southside Church of Christ in Fort Worth, Texas, told CNN.

“Eventually, he decided medical mission is what he wanted to do.”

Brantly went to Liberia with his wife and two children last year to serve a two-year fellowship through Samaritan’s Purse post-residency program.

He was there initially to practice general medicine. But when the Ebola outbreak began, he took on the role of medical director for the Samaritan’s Purse Ebola Consolidated Case Management Center in Monrovia. It’s there that he tested positive for the virus, according to the evangelical Christian relief charity.

There is no known cure or vaccine for Ebola, and it has a mortality rate of up to 90%.

Brantly is in an isolation ward at Emory University Hospital, near the headquarters for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

6 comments

  • FaithC

    There is so much to be done in this country. Why do these doctors feel they need to go half away around the world to do good works, how about doing them in your own community.

  • TzTerry

    Thank you for your willingness to lay down your life that the lives of others may be comforted, prayed for and even healed. I know God will strengthen you through this trial, and His leading will be even more clear for you and your family . . .

  • Little A's Teacher-Mom

    What a testimony of unselfishness!!…thank you and may God grant you his peace and healing according to his perfect will.

  • waltherppk

    Doctors without borders should not be a concept that is indulged to the extent it allows for any exception to the sensible protocol of geographical isolation and quarantine of infected patients remotely distant and well away from uninfected populations. Scientific and medical technology can more safely venture taking calculated risks under better circumstances than imposing a risk upon an uninfected population in a way that is against their interest and is done without their consent, but is accomplished by executive decision that is regarded as faulty on its face by many people. This kind of medical and scientific experimenting carries risk that is not fair or sensible risk to be imported and imposed on millions of people in an uninfected population. It does not require a medical degree for any person to appreciate the fact that this level of risk involved experimenting is not justified for the location chosen due to its geographic location and population density. By two separate and published studies in 1995, the National Institutes of Health established conclusively that ebola can be highly contagious via airborne transmission and is not only contagious by direct physical contact with bodily fluids which even if it were so limited would be no smaller risk of infection than for something like Norwalk virus which is likewise highly contagious. The insidious nature of such highly contagious diseases is never a really entirely manageable risk where foreseeable breaches of containment can safely be ruled out, no matter how sophisticated is the science and technology being used as a sanitary safeguard, knowing none of it is 100%.guaranteed but is a calculated risk. That is exactly why it is a 100% bad idea to violate geographical isolation and quarantine protocol by importing contagious patients from a region where ebola is already occurring and transport them to a clinic or laboratory located in the midst of an uninfected population. Even having to state this “no brainer” shows that something is terribly wrong about the management decision making process which would make such exceptions to the sensible rules for themselves which puts at risk all others without the consent of those others whom they should well know in advance would not consent for good reasons. This is an example of reckless endangerment arranged by masterminds who are not so masterful about risk analysis.

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