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Ebola Dr. Kent Brantly Issues First Statement: 'I Witnessed Horrors First Hand', 'Thank God for His Mercy'

( [email protected] ) Aug 08, 2014 04:38 PM EDT

Dr. Kent Brantly - Samaritan's Purse
(Photo : Samaritan's Purse)
Dr. Brantly, who was recently infected with Ebola, makes chlorine solution for disinfection at the case management center at ELWA Hospital.

Dr. Kent Brantly, the heroic American doctor who is now being treated at Atlanta's Emory Hospital, has issued his first statement on the terrible disease and the suffering it brings,  and the thanks he has for God, and to all those who have lifted him up in prayer.

Brantly's statement:

"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."

Brantly penned the letter after being flown to the United States from Liberia, where he and another aid worker contracted the terrible disease.

According to friends like Kent Smith who went to church with Brantly in Texas before the Doctor left for Africa, Brantly wanted to be a missionary before he went to medical school.

"Eventually, he decided medical mission is what he wanted to do," Smith told CNN.

Brantly, and his wife and two children, followed God's call to Liberia last year to serve a two-year fellowship through Samaritan's Purse post-residency program.

Initially he was there as a general practitioner, 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.  

He and fellow American Nancy Writebol contracted the virus while serving on the Ebola treatment teams, and according to many reports, both are now improving after receiving an experimental Ebola drugs never tried on humans.

There is no known cure for Ebola.