[guest post by Dana]
Dr. Kent Brantley was released from Emory University Hospital yesterday. In his statement to the press, he eloquently expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the many people involved in his recovery, as well as God for seeing him through this ordeal. It was a good reminder to me that there is something greater than mere mortal man at work in this universe and that all is not random chaos and luck of the draw. I was also reminded that for the believer whose life is hidden in Christ, no matter the circumstances being faced, it is possible to more than endure with and because of grace. To the faithful like Dr. Brantley, to live is Christ, to die is gain becomes a profoundly real truth as it is worked out in their lives.
“Today is a miraculous day. I am thrilled to be alive, to be well and to be reunited with my family. As a medical missionary, I never imagined myself in this position. When my family and I moved to Liberia last October to begin a two-year term working with Samaritan’s Purse, Ebola was not on the radar. We moved to Liberia because God called us to serve the people of Liberia.
“In March, when we got word that Ebola was in Guinea and had spread to Liberia, we began preparing for the worst. We didn’t receive our first Ebola patient until June, but when she arrived, we were ready. During the course of June and July, the number of Ebola patients increased steadily, and our amazing crew at ELWA Hospital took care of each patient with great care and compassion. We also took every precaution to protect ourselves from this dreaded disease by following MSF and WHO guidelines for safety.
“After taking Amber and our children to the airport to return to the States on Sunday morning, July 20, I poured myself into my work even more than before—transferring patients to our new, bigger isolation unit; training and orienting new staff; and working with our Human Resources officer to fill our staffing needs. Three days later, on Wednesday, July 23, I woke up feeling under the weather, and then my life took an unexpected turn as I was diagnosed with Ebola Virus Disease. As I lay in my bed in Liberia for the following nine days, getting sicker and weaker each day, I prayed that God would help me to be faithful even in my illness, and I prayed that in my life or in my death, He would be glorified.
Above all, I am forever thankful to God for sparing my life and am glad for any attention my sickness has attracted for the plight of West Africa in the midst of this epidemic. Please continue to pray for Liberia and the people of West Africa, and encourage those in positions of leadership and influence to do everything possible to bring this Ebola outbreak to an end. Thank you.”
It is likely that because of Dr. Brantley’s contraction of Ebola (and subsequent recovery), more attention has been and will continue to be given to working on a vaccine, which in turn could lead to a slowdown and even eventual eradication of Ebola outbreaks. Full circle.