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First Statement From Ebola Patient: 'I Am Growing Stronger'

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Dr. Kent Brantly, one of the two Americans who contracted Ebola in Africa and are being treated in an Atlanta hospital, said Friday that he is “growing stronger every day.”

In a statement that he said he was writing from the isolation room of Emory University Hospital, Brantly said: “I thank God for His mercy as I have wrestled with this terrible disease.”

Brantly is being treated at Emory along with another American aid worker, Nancy Writebol. Her husband told reporters Friday that she was well enough to ask for Starbucks coffee.

Both improved after receiving an experimental Ebola drugs never tried on humans. U.S. health officials have stressed that it is too early to tell whether experimental Ebola treatments help or hurt, or are even safe. There is no known cure for Ebola.

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 first-hand, 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.”

IN-DEPTH

— Kate Snow and Erin McClam

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