Dr. Kent Brantly, medical director for Samaritan’s Purse Ebola Consolidated Case Management Center contracted Ebola while caring for patients in Liberia this past July. Less than a month later, he was released from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta after completing his recovery from the deadly virus.
“Today is a miraculous day. I am thrilled to be alive, to be well and to be reunited with my family,” said Brantly.
At a press conference, Bruce Ribner, Infectious Disease Specialist at Emory University Hospital commented, “After rigorous course of treatment and thorough testing, we have determined in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control and State Health Departments that Dr. Brantly has recovered from the Ebola virus infection and that he can return to his family, to his community and to his life without public health concerns.”
As I watched this press conference live on TV broadcasted from Emory Hospital, I can’t explain the joy and overwhelming emotion I experienced. I witnessed my family friend, walk out of the hospital completely well after being treated for a deadly virus that takes the lives of 90% of its victims. It truly was a miraculous day!
Bruce Ribner went on to say, “Limited knowledge of the Ebola virus especially in our country has created understandable anxiety and fear for some persons. We understand that there are a lot of questions and concerns regarding Ebola virus and the infection that it causes. However, we cannot let our fears dictate our actions. We must all care.” I think that was well said, and I am grateful to Samaritan’s Purse, Emory Hospital, and all who were a part of the team that chose to set fears aside to help a fellow American and humanitarian in need. As it turned out, the team at Emory believes they are the ones blessed. “All of us who have worked with Brantly and his family have been impressed by their courage and determination. Their hope and faith have been an inspiration to all of us,” said Ribner.
I have personally experienced the highs and lows of dealing with a terminally ill spouse. My husband, Don Pittman, coined the phrase Never Settle while battling a life threatening cancer of the bone marrow that eventually took his life in 2006. I know what it is like to be told your husband will only live a few days. I also know the incredible joy of seeing him conquer tumors, blood clots, and infections all which should have taken his life. All you have to do is watch the look on Amber Brantly’s face during the press conference to experience the true meaning of Never Settle. She prayed, believed, and rallied others to do the same when all odds were against her family. The character of this family is best described in this statement from Brantly as he spoke at Emory Hospital, “On Wednesday, July 23, I woke up feeling under the weather and then my life took an unexpected turn as I was diagnosed with Ebola virus. I prayed that God would help me be faithful even in my illness and I prayed that in my life or in my death that He would be glorified.”
You did just that my friend. The whole world has witnessed a miracle in your life. You have stood up with great courage and given credit where it’s due. You truly are a miracle walking among us.