The Texas doctor being treated for Ebola in Atlanta after getting evacuated from West Africa said in a statement on Friday that he was "growing stronger every day."
Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, said he had received the best possible care from Emory University Hospital infectious disease specialists, who also are treating his colleague, Nancy Writebol, for the deadly virus.
"I am writing this update from my isolation room," Brantly said in his first public statement since contracting Ebola. "I am growing stronger every day, and I thank God for his mercy as I have wrestled with this terrible disease."
Brantly arrived in Georgia by medical aircraft on Saturday, followed by Writebol, a 59-year-old missionary, on Tuesday. They are believed to be the first Ebola patients ever treated in the United States.
The two relief workers, who served on a joint team in Liberia run by Christian aid groups SIM USA and Samaritan's Purse, contracted Ebola while helping to combat the world's worst outbreak of the virus.
Nearly 1,000 people in West Africa have now died in the outbreak of one of the deadliest known diseases.
Brantly said he did not move with his wife and two children to Liberia for the specific purpose of fighting Ebola but, as the disease spread, he found himself holding the hands of many people who succumbed to it.
"I witnessed the horror firsthand, and I can still remember every face and name," he said.
Brantly said he isolated himself as soon as he began feeling ill and waited three days for a confirmed diagnosis.
"When the result was positive, I remember a deep sense of peace that was beyond all understanding," Brantly wrote. "God was reminding me of what he had taught me years ago, that he will give me everything I need to be faithful to him."
Here is the full text of Brantly's statement:
"I am writing this update from my isolation room at Emory University Hospital, where the doctors and nurses are providing the very best care possible. I am growing stronger every day, and I thank God for His mercy as I have wrestled with this terrible disease. I also want to extend my deep and sincere thanks to all of you who have been praying for my recovery as well as for Nancy and for the people of Liberia and West Africa.
"My wife Amber and I, along with our two children, did not move to Liberia for the specific purpose of fighting Ebola. We went to Liberia because we believe God called us to serve Him at ELWA Hospital.
"One thing I have learned is that following God often leads us to unexpected places. When Ebola spread into Liberia, my usual hospital work turned more and more toward treating the increasing number of Ebola patients. I held the hands of countless individuals as this terrible disease took their lives away from them. I witnessed the horror firsthand, and I can still remember every face and name.
"When I started feeling ill on that Wednesday morning, I immediately isolated myself until the test confirmed my diagnosis three days later. When the result was positive, I remember a deep sense of peace that was beyond all understanding. God was reminding me of what He had taught me years ago, that He will give me everything I need to be faithful to Him.
"Now it is two weeks later, and I am in a totally different setting. My focus, however, remains the same—to follow God. As you continue to pray for Nancy and me, yes, please pray for our recovery. More importantly, pray that we would be faithful to God's call on our lives in these new circumstances."
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