Two American missionaries who contracted the Ebola virus while working in the West African country of Liberia last month have recovered and were released from an Atlanta hospital today.
Following his release, Dr. Kent Brantly appeared at a press conference at Emory University in Atlanta and make a statement.
"Today is a miraculous day. I am thrilled to be alive and be well and be reunited with my family," he told the crowd.
"As I lay in my bed in Liberia...getting sicker and weaker each day, I prayed that God would help me be faithful even through my illness...and prayed that in life and even in death, God would be glorified.
"I serve a faithful God who answers prayers ...God saved my life."
Brantly also relayed a message from Nancy Writebol, the other American released from the hospital.
"My dear friend Nancy Writebol also wanted me to share her gratitude for all the prayers on her behalf...as she walked out of the isolation room, all she could say was "to God be the glory."
Brantly and Writebol were flown to the U.S. to receive treatment for the virus earlier this month. They have been kept in the hospital's specialized unit and have received supportive care aimed at keeping them hydrated and stable.
Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse, released a statement following the news announcing that Brantly had recovered and thanking God for the miracle.
"Today I join all of our Samaritan's Purse team around the world in giving thanks to God as we celebrate Dr. Kent Brantly's recovery from Ebola and release from the hospital," the statement read. "Over the past few weeks I have marveled at Dr. Brantly's courageous spirit as he has fought this horrible virus with the help of the highly competent and caring staff at Emory University Hospital. His faithfulness to God and compassion for the people of Africa have been an example to us all."
Both Brantly and Writebol were also given experimental drug called ZMapp, which, though proven successful in animals, has not yet been tested in humans. Experts have said it's not possible to determine whether Zmapp cured the two, as receiving good supportive care at Emory likely improved their chances of survival
However, many critics argue the medicine was unfairly distributed to "white outsiders" instead of to the "Africans who form the overwhelming majority of victims in the Ebola epidemic."
"This saddens me because Kent Brantly, driven by his strong faith in God, was devoting every waking hour to save Africans dying of Ebola, until he contracted the virus and was flown back to America for treatment," Graham wrote in his statement.
"He and others who give up the comforts of America to serve in the poorest regions of the earth deserve better than this cheap criticism from academics and talking heads."
Thus far, the Ebola outbreak has killed 1,350 people and counting in four Western African countries, including Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
In concluding his statement, Dr. Graham encouraged the nation to pray for those still working to fight the deadly disease in Africa.
"[Samaritan's Purse] have more than 350 staff in Liberia, and others will soon be joining them, so please pray for those who have served with Dr. Brantly -- along with the other doctors, aid workers and organizations that are at this very moment desperately trying to stop Ebola from taking any more lives."