Dr Kent Brantly back on US soil for Ebola treatment; refused medicine so that missionary could have it instead
The Samaritan's Purse doctor struck down by Ebola while treating victims of the deadly virus has returned safely to the US for treatment.
Dr Kent Brantly, 33, is in an isolation unit at Emory University Hospital after being flown back in a specially fitted plane from Liberia on Saturday.
He arrived at Dobbins Air Force Base in Atlanta shortly before midday on Saturday before being transported to Emory, where his isolation unit has been set up in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr Brantly came down with the virus after treating people infected with Ebola at the Samaritan's Purse Ebola Consolidated Case Management Center in Monrovia.
"We thank God that they are alive and now have access to the best care in the world," said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse. "We are extremely thankful for the help we have received from the State Department, the CDC, the National Institute of Health, WHO and, of course, Emory Hospital."
Over 700 people have been infected by the latest outbreak of the virus across West Africa, and Samaritan's Purse has evacuated all but the most essential of its personnel stationed in Liberia.
Dr Brantly's return to the US is due to be followed in the coming days by that of American missionary to Liberia, Nancy Writebol, who has also become infected with the virus.
Samaritan's Purse said Dr Brantly had refused the only available dose of a new experimental serum that arrived in Liberia last Wednesday, so that Writebol could have it instead.
"An experimental serum arrived in the country, but there was only enough for one person. Dr Brantly asked that it be given to Nancy Writebol," Graham said.
"However, Dr Brantly received a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy who had survived Ebola because of Dr. Brantly's care. The young boy and his family wanted to be able to help the doctor that saved his life."
Samaritan's Purse is asking for prayers as Dr Brantly and Writebol continue to undergo treatment.
"Their heroic and sacrificial service—along with the entire team there—is a shining example of Christ's love in this crisis situation," Graham said.