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Fort Worth Doctor With Ebola In Africa Has Improved Slightly, Relief Group Says

Samaritan's Purse
Earlier this year, Dr. Kent Brantly, left, treated a patient with the Ebola virus at the agency's Ebola Consolidated Case Management Center in Liberia.

The Fort Worth doctor who contracted the Ebola virus in Liberia has improved slightly. The relief group Samaritan’s Purse said today that Dr. Kent Brantly is in serious condition.

 

Brantly, who trained as a doctor in Fort Worth, had been working with Ebola patients at Samaritan’s Purse Ebola Consolidated Case Management Center.

 

A missionary working with Samaritan’s Purse, Nancy Writebol, also contracted Ebola. She remains in serious condition.

 

Both are being treated at an isolation center at ELWA Hospital in Liberia.

 

Meanwhile, Samaritan’s Purse is evacuating non-essential personnel, although medical staff remain in Liberia to treat patients.

 

“We ask that people continue to pray for Kent and Nancy and all those who are affected by Ebola and the tremendous group of doctors and nurses who are caring for them,”Samaritan’s Purse said on its website.

 

Samaritan’s Purse says that Dr. Brantly’s wife and two children had been living with him in Liberia but flew home to the U.S. about a week ago, before he started showing signs of illness.

 

Last week, Dr. Brantly recognized that he had symptoms associated with Ebola, and isolated himself, the relief group says.

 

Family issues statement

Amber Brantly, Dr. Brantly's wife, issued a statement:

 

We appreciate so much all the words of comfort and acts of kindness extended to our family. As people with a deep faith in Jesus, we sincerely thank the thousands of people worldwide who have lifted up Kent and this dreadful situation in prayer. We continue to lean on that faith and take great consolation in our God in these times. Amber and their two children are staying in an undisclosed location to protect their privacy. We continue to believe that God will deliver Kent from this deadly virus. We have a strong family unit within a stronger faith community that has given us incredible support. Kent remains very physically weak but his spirit has been determined throughout this ordeal. This is a challenging time for our family. We will not be speaking to the media at this time. We ask that you respect our privacy. We ask for your continued prayers for Kent, his colleague, Nancy Writebol, and the healthcare workers in Liberia struggling to meet the overwhelming demands of those who are sick with the Ebola virus as well as patients who have come to that hospital with other needs.

Read more

For more about Dr. Brantly and Ebola, read our earlier story.

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees keranews.org, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Lauren Silverman was the Health, Science & Technology reporter/blogger at KERA News. She was also the primary backup host for KERA’s Think and the statewide newsmagazine  Texas Standard. In 2016, Lauren was recognized as Texas Health Journalist of the Year by the Texas Medical Association. She was part of the Peabody Award-winning team that covered Ebola for NPR in 2014. She also hosted "Surviving Ebola," a special that won Best Long Documentary honors from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). And she's won a number of regional awards, including an honorable mention for Edward R. Murrow award (for her project “The Broken Hip”), as well as the Texas Veterans Commission’s Excellence in Media Awards in the radio category.