American With Ebola Says He's 'Growing Stronger'

Kent Brantly releases statement from hospital in Atlanta

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 8, 2014 5:44 PM CDT

(Newser) – One of the two Americans being treated for Ebola at an Atlanta hospital has good news: He's "growing stronger every day." Kent Brantly, who's getting an experimental Ebola treatment never before used on people, released a statement about his life as a doctor in Liberia, NBC News reports:

  • "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."
  • When Ebola spread in Liberia, "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 he became ill, he felt "a deep sense of peace that was beyond all understanding," and knew that God "will give me everything I need to be faithful to Him."

Meanwhile, David Writebol, husband of aid worker Nancy Writebol—the other American receiving the Ebola treatment in Atlanta—said he was surprised by people who criticized them for putting themselves at risk, the AP reports:

  • "It's just astonishing to see the reaction of people, and I think it exposes the underlying philosophy and worldview of the age where ... an individual is really of no account and when someone goes to extraordinary lengths and measures to minister to and perhaps help an individual then that's looked down upon."
Writebol, who was doing missionary work with his wife in Liberia, is still there for a 21-day incubation period to ensure he's not ill, CBS News reports. Following his wife's progress, he said that Nancy has seen "slight improvements" in her condition and even got a Starbucks coffee at the hospital, CNN reports. An aid group is trying to get David to Atlanta to be with his wife—and if it happens, he said, "I would give her a kiss. Hold her." (Meanwhile, WHO has labeled the outbreak an "international emergency.")

This photo provided by Jeremy Writebol show his parents, David and Nancy Writebol, who are Christian missionaries in Liberia.
This photo provided by Jeremy Writebol show his parents, David and Nancy Writebol, who are Christian missionaries in Liberia.   (AP Photo/Courtesy Jeremy Writebol)
Nancy Writebol, an American aid worker from North Carolina who was infected with the Ebola virus while working in Liberia, arrives at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014.
Nancy Writebol, an American aid worker from North Carolina who was infected with the Ebola virus while working in Liberia, arrives at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014.   (AP Photo/The Journal & Constitution, John Spink)
Dr. Kent Brantly and his wife, Amber, are seen in an undated photo provided by Samaritan's Purse.
Dr. Kent Brantly and his wife, Amber, are seen in an undated photo provided by Samaritan's Purse.   (AP Photo/Samaritan's Purse)
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