Ebola Survivor Thanks God for Her Recovery

by Himabindu Venkatakrishnan on  September 4, 2014 at 7:20 PM Tropical Disease News
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The Ebola survivor, one of the two US missionaries in West Africa, spoke out for the first time Wednesday, thanking God for her recovery but admitting she went through "dark days".
 Ebola Survivor Thanks God for Her Recovery
Ebola Survivor Thanks God for Her Recovery

Nancy Writebol, looking well, commented as the Christian group SIM USA she worked for in Liberia identified another American who contracted the often deadly disease while serving in Monrovia, the capital of the hard-hit country.

"God is writing this, and I just want to express first of all my appreciation to the Lord for his grace, for his mercy, and for his saving of my life," Writebol, smiling often, said at a televised news conference in Charlotte, North Carolina.

But "there were many mornings I woke up and thought I'm alive and there were many times when I thought I don't think I'm going to make it anymore."

While saying she felt no fear when she found out that she had caught the virus, Writebol acknowledged "there were some very, very, very dark days" that followed.

Writebol contracted Ebola in July as the largest outbreak in history -- which so far has killed more than 1,500 people according to the World Health Organization -- swept through West Africa.

She was subsequently airlifted to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, for treatment in a special isolation unit and released on August 19 away from the cameras.

Footage of her arrival at the hospital showed her strapped to a stretcher in protective gear, raising concerns about her chances for recovery.

Writebol's fate is similar to that of fellow missionary Kent Brantly who was also airlifted from Liberia to Atlanta and released last month in good health.

Bruce Johnson, the president of SIM USA, meanwhile identified the third American Ebola victim as 51-year-old veteran doctor Rick Sacra who volunteered to go to Liberia when Writebol and Brantly tested positive.

"He was caring for pregnant women, delivering babies by C-section and natural birth. Interesting, here is a doctor bringing new life into Liberia as death is surrounding us," Johnson said at the same news conference.

Johnson said his group was cooperating with US health authorities to determine how Sacra, who is from Massachusetts, got sick.

While stressing there was no confirmation at this time, Johnson said there was a chance Sacra -- who had been working in obstetrics at the SIM-funded ELWA hospital -- caught the virus from someone who had yet to show signs of the disease.

"They check patients at our hospital before admittance for Ebola symptoms and there's a strong possibility that the Ebola symptoms were masked and not presenting themselves with a particular patient who was admitted and cared for and possibly this was how Dr Sacra contracted it," he said.

Source: AFP

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