Ebola Infected American Missionary Nancy Writebol Reunites, Prays With Husband

( [email protected] ) Aug 20, 2014 02:17 PM EDT
Nancy Writebol, an American missionary infected with Ebola, was recently reunited with her husband after being apart for three weeks.
David Writebol, left, and wife Nancy were reunited after several weeks apart (Photo: Service in Mission)

Many tears were shed as Nancy Writebol, an American missionary recovering from Ebola, was reunited with her husband for the first time in three weeks on Sunday.

"I have had the great joy to be able to look through the isolation room glass and see my beautiful wife again," said David Writebol in a statement released by SIM, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based missionary group that sponsored the couple's work in Liberia, where Nancy contracted the disease.

"We both placed our hands on opposite sides of the glass, moved with tears to look at each other again," he said. "She was standing with her radiant smile, happy beyond words."

David, 59, was recently released from a 21-day quarantine to ensure he did not have Ebola. Nancy arrived at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital on Aug. 5.

The was also able to pray together over the hospital intercom, but David hopes that very soon, he will be able to embrace his wife  outside of the isolation room in which she is being treated.

"She is continuing to slowly gain strength," he said, "eager for the day when the barriers separating us are set aside, and we can simply hold each other again."

Nancy Writebol is one of two U.S. aid workers with Ebola who are said to be improving after receiving the serum ZMapp and being flown to Atlanta earlier this month for treatment.

Dr. Kent Brantly of Texas, who arrived at the hospital on August 2, said in a statement on Friday that he hoped to be released from the hospital in the near future.

"I am recovering in every way," Brantly, 33, said in a statement released by Samaritan's Purse, the Christian group with which he was working in Liberia.

"I thank God for the healthcare team here who is giving me compassionate, world-class care," he said. "I am more grateful everyday to the Lord for sparing my life and continuing to heal my body."

The current outbreak of Ebola in Western Africa is reportedly the worst in history, killing at least 1,145 people in Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, prompting the World Health Organization to declare an international health emergency.

"The outbreak is moving faster than we can control it," the WHO's director-general Margaret Chan told reporters on a telephone briefing from the WHO's Geneva headquarters.

"The declaration ... will galvanize the attention of leaders of all countries at the top level. It cannot be done by the ministries of health alone."

Tags : Nancy Writebol, Kent Brantly, Ebola, Ebola victim, reunited