Dr. Kent Brantly 'Like A Son' To 'Steadily Improving' Ebola Patient Nancy Writebol

( [email protected] ) Aug 14, 2014 12:23 PM EDT
Ebola American Patient Nancy Writebol
Nancy Writebol worked as a missionary in Liberia when she became infected with Ebola (AP)

In a heartwarming turn of events, American Ebola patient Nancy Writebol is steadily recovering from the disease and recently stated that she views Dr. Kent Brantly as a son after their time together in Liberia and now in Atlanta, Georgia.

Nancy's son Jeremy recently appeared on the Today show an revealed that his mother has improved drastically since entering the United States and has developed a close friendship with Brantly, who spent a great deal of time taking care of her.

"He really cared well for my mom. He's really an exceptional man, very Christ-like in his demeanor and attitude," Jeremy said. "We've had a chance to just briefly converse and give each other a thumbs up through the window. In fact, my mom has said, 'Jeremy, you have a third brother now, and it's Dr. Brantly.'"

Jeremy's father and Nancy's husband, David, was also flown in from Liberia on Monday and is staying in an isolation unit in Charlotte, North Carolina. He will be in isolation for several weeks in order to ensure that he has not contracted the Ebola virus, and he will not be permitted to see Nancy for a while longer.

Writebol contracted Ebola while working with a Christian nonprofit group fighting the disease in Liberia shortly after Dr. Kent Brantly was diagnosed while serving with Samaritan's Purse. Both Writebol and Brantly were airlifted to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and are improving since receiving the experimental drug ZMapp.

"She's been doing well," Jeremy stated of his mother. "We've just seen her get physically better, her eyes brighten up, her countenance goes up, smiling, even joking a little bit. When she came in on Tuesday last week, we were really concerned that she wasn't going to make it, that it was death."

Because both Writebol and Brantly are still in isolation units, their families are unable to have physical contact with them. However, both families continue to visit them every day.

"There was a little crease of a smile that came up, and we were both in tears," Jeremy said of seeing his mother for the first time after she returned. "And I was able just to say, 'Mom, I love you.' It was very, very emotional, just to see your mom there in that way for the first time after thinking you might never see her again."

Jeremy says that despite the dangers of going to Liberia, he supports his parent's decision to return and continue working with Ebola victims, where they served for 15 years.

"Go for it. This is what they've been called to do, and this is what they feel in their heart," Jeremy said. "It won't be an easy decision for them, but I won't be surprised. If I do have a say, I'll say yes."



Tags : Ebola, Kent Brantly, Nancy Writebol, ZMapp, Emory University Hospital