A relief group official says two American aid workers have tested positive for the Ebola virus while working to combat an outbreak of the deadly disease at a hospital in Liberia.
Ken Isaacs, a vice president of Samaritan's Purse, told The Associated Press on Sunday that 33-year-old Dr. Kent Brantly was stable and in very serious condition.
Brantly is the medical director for the group's Ebola care center on the outskirts of the Liberian capital of Monrovia and has been diagnosed with the very disease he was trying to help fight.
Isaacs identified the second American, Nancy Writebol, as a worker with an allied aid group SIM, or Serving in Mission, which runs the hospital. He said she was in stable and serious condition.
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He said both Americans have since been isolated and are under intensive treatment.
Friends of Brantly told NBC 5 he is not only a great person but is also a great doctor.
“Kent is a humble family man, soft-spoken yet deep thoughts and very intelligent,” said Jason Brewington, a friend and colleague from John Peter Smith Hospital.
Brewington helped supervise Brantly during his four–year residency in maternal health and family medicine at JPS Hospital in Fort Worth. But, their story doesn’t start there. The men’s wives were friends years before the Brantlys moved to North Texas. Brewington describes his friend as man devoted to the Lord.
“In this case when you’re called to do something, to go somewhere, you have two options — either to answer that call or not,” Brewington said.
Brantly, a father of two, answered. Brewington said he worked on various missions all across the world but most recently worked in Haiti, Nigeria and Tanzania.
“He and his wife, I think before they even met, knew they wanted to do missions, and they have always lived their lives with that in mind at some point they would be on the mission field in a hospital doing what no one else wants to do,” Brewington said.
“That’s a calling not everyone has — it’s a passion that not everyone has and I’m glad to be a part of Kent and Amber’s family in that regard.”
At the Southside Church of Christ where the Brantly Family are members, Brantly has been added to the prayer list.
“When we heard about the fact that he had come down with the virus we were all very touched, and one of the first things that we do is get him on a prayer list because we believe the avenue for this healing of this particular virus, which there is no cure for, is God," said Keith Crow, member of Southside Church of Christ.
"God is going to have to pull him through it."