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Ebola Fighters: Samaritan's Purse Dr. Kent Brantly Honored as TIME's 'Person of the Year'

( [email protected] ) Dec 11, 2014 11:39 AM EST

Samaritan's Purse doctor Kent Brantly, who contracted Ebola while fighting the deadly outbreak in Liberia earlier this year, has been honored as one of TIME magazine's 2014 "Person of the Year."

Dr. Kent Brantly
Dr. Kent Brantly (Photo: Time Magazine)

"From the community health care volunteers in Liberia, to the dedicated staff of organizations like Samaritan's Purse and MSF, to the doctors and nurses at Emory University Hospital, Ebola Fighters are mostly anonymous heroes whose diverse faces are largely unknown even to their patients as they wage this war in head-to-toe protective gear," Dr. Brantly said. "It is these nameless champions that TIME has recognized today."

Over the summer, Dr.Brantly contracted and recovered from  Ebola after successful treatment back in America, and received the experimental drug ZMapp at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. The deadly disease has killed an estimated 6,000 people in four West African countries this year alone.

"I serve a faithful God who answers prayers ...God saved my life," Brantly said following his recovery.

Other Christian doctors honored by TIME includes 46-year-old Dr. Jerry Brown of nondenominational mission Eternal Love Winning Africa Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia.

"I always had the fear of myself or one of my staff getting infected, and what would become of me thereafter," Brown said after hearing that Ebola had spread through Liberia

Brown said he had to turn ELWA's church chapel into an isolation ward,  as the mission's hospital did not have such a section--or the funds to build one.

"Well, of course, turning the chapel into an Ebola unit was not welcomed by the staff of the institution. The bulk of them said, 'Why should we turn the house of God into a place where we put people with such a deadly disease?' And some said, 'Where will you provide for us to worship in the morning?'" Brown recalled.

TIME's feature on medical "Persons of the Year" also focuses on others who fought Ebola, including SIM missionary Nancy Writebol, who also contacted the virus in Liberia but survived following treatment in America.

Franklin Graham, President of Samaritan's Purse, said that his organization is grateful that TIME chose to honor Brantly and the hundreds of other aid workers who daily risk their lives to fight the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa.

"This battle for life is far from over, and Samaritan's Purse will continue our work in this huge effort. We pray for each one of these heroes on the frontline and those suffering from Ebola. May God bring healing and comfort to them all," Graham said.