Hero Ebola Doc: Save My Colleague, Not Me

There was only enough of an experimental serum for one patient

FacebookDr. Kent Brantly, right, insisted that another missionary be given the only dose of an experimental ebola treatment.

Two American healthcare workers with the aid organization Samaritan's Purse who had been in Liberia to fight an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus both came down with the disease. Dr. Kent Brantly, who understood the gravity of his chances better than most, refused the single available dose of an experimental drug developed to fight Ebola. Instead, he asked medical workers to give it to his colleague, Nancy Writebol, according to the New York Daily News.

There is no known cure for the disease. The two are in "stable but grave" condition. A medical charter flight with an isolation pod is on its way to Liberia to evacuate Brantly and Writebol back to the United States, according to CNN. The hospital at Emory University, which is near the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, has said that it will take one of the two. Brantly was instead scheduled to receive a blood transfusion, including a unit of blood from a 14-year-old saved from Ebola by the doctor, according to the Daily News report.

Amber Brantly, wife of the 33-year-old doctor, released a statement through Samaritan's Purse to offer her "heartfelt thanks to the many people who have reached out to me and my family during this difficult time."

Many people have been asking how I am doing. The children and I are physically fine. We had left Liberia prior to Kent's exposure to the virus. I am always anxiously awaiting any news from Liberia regarding Kent's condition. Through the mountain tops and the valleys of this ordeal I have been given a peace that comes from my relationship with my God. Jesus remains the Rock that I lean on. I feel strengthened each passing hour by your prayers. Through letters and comments, we have felt God's love and comfort poured out to us from literally every corner of the world.

The disease is highly dangerous, with a fatality rate of 90 percent, according to the World Health Organization. Ebola is communicated through contact with bodily fluids of infected animals or humans. Medical workers "have frequently been infected ... through close contact with patients when infection control precautions are not strictly practiced."

The leading Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone recently died from the disease, as the Washington Post reported.

After finishing his residency two years ago, Dr. Brantly and his family moved to West Africa to help people, according to the Associated Press. He had been treating patients in Monrovia, Liberia and became the medical director of the Samaritan Purse's Ebola relief Center in recent months when he noticed his own disease symptoms.

"Kent is a calm, confident, focused individual, with a deep calling for the work that he's doing," said Dr. David McRay, of the Fort Worth, Texas John Peter Smith Hospital, to AP. "Many people are infected with Ebola in Africa, and many people are not surviving. And Kent does not see his situation as unique in any way." According to CNN, the World Health Organization estimates that Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria have seen 1,323 cases between March and July 27.

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**** them. they went to Africa. not me. We need to quarantine the whole Africa continent.

August 02 2014 at 4:46 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Dr. Kent Brantley, We are praying for you and for your selfless acts of helping others. No one of us, in our selfish attitudes, opinions and words, can imagine what wonderful and blessed work that you do in the midst of danger. Like our soldiers and others that risk their lives for a better world and to help others, the sacrifice may be great, but the drive of knowing your mission and your work transcends the sacrifice and is even greater. Thank you for your service in helping others fight this terrible disease. God bless you and your family in the midst of this storm.

August 02 2014 at 8:34 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I am at a loss for words when people are so ready to have these people come home to be cared for.
This is the responsibility of any health care worker not to infect others. I was given an argument about we have the best health care and the CDC hospital has complete lock down. But as I thought about it today its still wrong.
These aides need to say I wont do it I will not risk spreading this to others. Treat me here. That is there responsibility.
They need to contain and quarantine it there. Send the help and labs on planes there to set up whatever it is they need to care for them. But to bring them back here knowingly that they have this virus is dangerous to the health humans of this country. I have to bring up a fact that we cant even bring some fruits and vegetables into this country because it may bring disease to other plant life here... But they are allowing Ebola that is known to kill people and we have *zero* way to treat it. This is ludicrous!!
Another point I have to bring up, this is a virus. A virus is a living thing. We do not know how it will mutate. Right now you can only catch it thru fluids from someone else's body. What if this experimental drug that the other doctor has taken causes it to mutate and it becomes airborne. This is real folks and you have to prepare yourself for anything that could happen. Put on your thinking caps and realize this isn't a safe route for any of us to take.
I'm not trying to spread fear I am just trying to get people to think and really understand the possibilities of what could happen.

August 02 2014 at 3:02 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

When these aid workers went to Africa, they took on risk that many of us don't care to take on. They're given shots for diseases that are not present in the US and are aware that highly infectious diseases such as Ebola can come back out of the jungle.

It was a huge mistake on the part of Samaritan's Purse to expedite their trip to Atlanta. Read "The Hot Zone" and get educated on how easily this plague can be spread.

For those who say that God can stop this "in a blink of an eye," tell me why he hasn't stopped cancer, wars, the Bubonic plague, or mass extermination of innocent people during the 4.56 billion years this planet has been in existence.

August 02 2014 at 2:16 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
lee aikin

I hope that anyone able to commnicate with people dealing with Ebola will try the following to see if it works. It should not hurt and may cause significant improvement.
*Give large amounts of Vitamin C, C complex and pycnogenol every 4 to 6 hours.
The body dies from massive amounts of blood leakage from many parts. The C class of vitamins strengthens cell walls, the tissue joining cells, production of white cells to fight infection, and iflamation.
I once was camping far from a road where a woman was stung by 2 yellow jackets in her neck. She had forgotten her epipen for bee sting allergy. When I first saw her her eyes were swollen shut, she was chocking and having trouble breathing, and her whole body was swollen. She had been given some herbal treatments which were not helping at all. I immediately gave her 10 grams of Vitamin C, pantothenic acid, and some other vitamins and minerals. Within 20 minutes her throat had opened up and she could see. The swelling had also gone down some. After an hour I gave her another 5 grams of C, and stayed with her for a total of 8 hours, giving her 5 grams every two hours. By that time she had lost 3/4ths of her swelling and I left additional Vitamin C with her to take as needed. This form of treatment was developed by a Dr. Klenner years ago in the Carolinas. He would give up to 50 grams of C to someone with snake bite with good results.

August 02 2014 at 1:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Surely the United States will see how important it is to quickly research this disease and try to come up with a vaccine or a cure for it. It will become global quickly because we are bringing ebola patients here and others are flying after being exposed.President Obaba use your influence to make this happen

August 02 2014 at 1:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Dr. Brantly has been a hero in the treatment of EBOLA to Liberians.God blessings about you.

August 02 2014 at 1:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

After reading this story, John 15:13 popped into my head. "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends."
Heavenly Father, I lift my brother Kent Brantly up to you Lord. I pray that you will lay your loving hands on him and heal him. I lalso pray for Nancy Lord. I pray that the serum works and she'll recover from this terrible virus. May their families continue to feel your love, stregnth and peace as they go through this horrible ordeal. I pray all this in Jesus' name. Amen.
What a godly man.
I will also pray for all of those with their eyes still shut. May you all see God at work and come to know love.

August 02 2014 at 12:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
david h

How did he contract the disease if it is only spread through bodily fluids? That is what everyone wants to know.

August 02 2014 at 12:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to david h's comment
Jack Sheet

People in the late stages of the disease are leaking infectious fluids out of every bodily orifice. If you touch them at all, you're exposed.

August 02 2014 at 1:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

People at end stage of this are bleeding out of every orfice of their bodies. They cough and spew out blood, coming explosively out of everywhere in the body. All it takes is droplets of bodily fluid to come in contact with a healthy person's body and say, a hang nail. A small opening of the larest organ of our body, our skin and you have trasmission. It is very sad. If we all remember how AIDS victims were treated early on, due to fear and the unknown, people had very little knowledge and put patients in isolation and were afraid to havve them in their homes and such. Fear, obviously is going to take over faster than anything. The more we educate our selves the better off we all with be. That being said, focusing on a cure, vaccine and palliative care with the utmost empathy and tenderness until a cure is found is what every patient will need. Along with prayers, lots and lots of prayers. Blessings all.

August 02 2014 at 2:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

But he's being flown back to the US to be treated.

August 02 2014 at 12:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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