One of the United States aid workers who recovered from an Ebola infection, Dr. Kent Brantly, has said he was “thrilled to be alive” as he and another patient were discharged from the hospital.
In his first public speech since leaving the hospital on Thursday for treatment of the deadly virus, Brantly, 33, thanked supporters for their prayers. His colleague, Nancy Writebol, 59, has also been discharged from the hospital.
The two were taken to the US for treatment three weeks ago from Liberia where they contracted the disease, the BBC reported.The outbreak has killed more than 1,300 people in West Africa, with many of the deaths occurring in Liberia.
“Today is a miraculous day,” said Brantly, while addressing reporters at Emory University hospital.
“I am thrilled to be alive, to be well, and to be reunited with my family. As a medical missionary, I never imagined myself in this position.
“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.”
But after his family returned to the US as the Ebola outbreak tore through West Africa, he stayed back and continued to treat Ebola patients. He said he woke up on July 23, 2014 feeling “under the weather”.
Brantly said he lay in bed for nine days, getting progressively sicker and weaker. On August 1, he was flown to Atlanta for treatment at Emory.
He said, “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.
“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.
“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.
“Above all, I am forever grateful to God for sparing my life and I’m glad for any attention my sickness has attracted to the 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.”