American Doctor Sick With Ebola Now Fighting For His Life
A doctor trained in Fort Worth, Texas, is now a victim of the Ebola outbreak he was battling.
Kent Brantly, 33, had been caring for Ebola patients in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, for several months when he noticed he had symptoms of the deadly virus last Wednesday.
He immediately put himself into an isolation ward.
"He is still conversing and is in isolation. But he is seriously ill with a very grave prognosis," says Dr. David McRay, of John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, who spoke to Brantly by phone on Monday.
"Kent is a calm, confident, focused individual, with a deep calling for the work that he’s doing," McRay says.
After Brantly completed his residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in 2013, he traveled to West Africa with his wife and two children to work with the Christian aid group Samaritan’s Purse.
Then the Ebola outbreak started in March. Samaritan’s Purse asked Brantly to direct the group’s Ebola Consolidated Case Management Center in Monrovia.
Since then, about 1,200 people have fallen ill with Ebola, and more than 670 have died across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. There’s no treatment for the disease, which spreads when people come into direct contact with bodily fluids, such as saliva, blood, diarrhea and vomit.
Brantly knew providing health care in Liberia would be challenging — and that was even before the Ebola epidemic. But caring for people in need, his friends say, was always what he wanted to do.
Photo: Medical workers treat Ebola patients at the Eternal Love Winning Africa hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. Three workers at the hospital, including Dr. Kent Brantly (left), have tested positive for Ebola.(Courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse)