It’s a medical miracle! Dr. Kent Brantly was released, fully recovered, from Emory University Hospital today, Aug. 21, and he spoke out, telling reporters how he’s ‘thrilled to be alive.’ Click to watch Dr. Kent’s speech below.
Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, spoke out for the first time since leaving the hospital on Aug. 21 for treatment of the deadly virus. In a press conference, he detailed his journey to recovery and how he’s moving forward.
Dr. Kent Brantly: Ebola Survivor Speaks Out For First Time
Dr. Kent Brantly is “thrilled to alive” after receiving treatment at Emory University Hospital for the Ebola virus. Here’s what he said in the press conference on Aug. 21, surrounded by reporters and medical personnel:
“Today is a miraculous day. I’m thrilled to be alive, to be well and to be reunited with my family,” Dr. Kent started off his speech.
He talked of his time spent Liberia and how he contracted the disease. “When my family and I moved to Liberia two years ago, Ebola was not on the radar. We moved to Liberia because God called us to service in Liberia.”
Although Dr. Kent and his team followed the “MSF and WHO guidelines for safety,” Dr. Kent woke up on July 23 “feeling under the weather.” He spent nine days in bed “getting sicker and weaker each day.”
He was diagnosed with the deadly disease after working at a missionary clinic and was transferred from Liberia to Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital once he was stable. Since then, he has been receiving treatment for the disease, along with aid worker Nancy Writebol. Nancy was released from the hospital on Aug. 19, but chose not to make any public comments, CNN reports. Kent and Nancy both received a dose of the experimental drug, ZMapp, Daily Mail reports.
“I cannot thank you enough for your prayers and your support, but what I can tell you is that I serve a God who answers prayers,” he said. “God saved my life, a direct answer to thousands and thousands of prayers…Thank you to the Liberia community, Emory hospital and so many of you, my family, friends and church family.”
Dr. Kent also said that his family will be spending time together after more than a month apart. “My family and I will now be going away for a period of time to reconnect, decompress and to continue to recover physically and emotionally. After I have recovered a little more and regained some of my strength, we will look forward to sharing more of our story,” he said.
“Again, before we slip out, I want to express my deep and sincere gratitude to Samaritan’s Purse, SIM, Emory and all of the people involved in my treatment and care. Above all, I am forever grateful to God for sparing my life and I’m glad for any attention my sickness has attracted to plight of West Africa in the midst of this epidemic. Please continue to pray for Liberia and the people of West Africa and encourage physicians of leadership and influence to do everything possible to bring this Ebola outbreak to an end,” he concluded.
Dr. Kent Brantly: Emory University Doctor Talks Ebola Survivor’s Recovery
Dr. Bruce Ribner, director of Emory’s Infectious Disease Unit, also made a speech at the press conference to discuss the recovery process of Dr. Kent and Nancy.
“What we learned in caring for them will help advance the world’s understanding of how to treat Ebola infections and help, hopefully, to improve survival,” Dr. Bruce said, according to CNN.
He detailed that in Ebola patients without organ damage, they are expected to “make a complete recovery.”
Dr. Bruce said that “we can’t let our fears dictate our actions” and it was the “right decision to bring those [Dr. Kent and Nancy] patients to Emory.”
“At Emory, our mission is to heal and advance our knowledge,” Dr. Bruce said. “We are tremendously pleased with Dr. Brantly and Mrs. Writebol’s recovery,” he continued. He also noted that Kent and Nancy pose no public health threat.
The Ebola virus is extremely prevalent across Central and West Africa. The disease has killed 1,350 people, Daily Mail reports. Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of sick people and causes bleeding inside and outside the body, ultimately damaging the immune system and organs, according to WebMD.
You can hear all of Dr. Kent’s speech below. It’s truly inspiring.
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We are so thankful that Dr. Kent and Nancy were saved from this deadly disease. This is a huge medical leap in the journey to fight the Ebola virus. We wish Dr. Kent and Nancy all the best as they continue to recover.
— Avery Thompson