Experiencing Ebola

I am reposting this piece directly from Dr. Kent Brantly of Texas, the first Ebola patient to be treated in the US. Please read his message below and see how you can play a role in the fight against Ebola. Below is his story with message.

Dr. Kent Brantly, Texas

I’ve come to be known as the first Ebola patient to be treated in the United States — but I’d prefer to think of myself simply as a family physician.

I was born and raised in Indiana, and trained in family medicine in Texas. I spent the last year living and working as a missionary doctor in a small hospital outside Monrovia, Liberia. So when the Ebola virus came to that country, I was among the first to treat infected patients. And in late July, I contracted the disease.

I quickly came to understand firsthand what my own patients had suffered — the humiliation, the horror, and the sense of utter helplessness. As an American citizen, I was thankful that I was able to be evacuated back to Atlanta, where I received excellent treatment and survived this terrible disease.

The thousands of people still suffering from Ebola in West Africa don’t have that option. So medical professionals and aid workers from around the world have been going to them — standing shoulder to shoulder in this fight.

Those who have already gone have made a difference, but there is still more that must be done. Effectively fighting this disease is like extinguishing a raging fire. You need to attack the flames at the base and keep them from spreading further. To do this, we urgently need more medical personnel to treat patients in West Africa.

If you’re a qualified medical professional and want to volunteer to work in West Africa, the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) can connect you with reputable organizations that are active in the Ebola response.

The CDC is also developing an introductory safety training course for licensed clinicians who want to work in an Ebola Treatment Unit.

If you are a medical professional considering traveling to West Africa, please don’t let irrational fear stand in your way. I am extremely confident that I did not contract Ebola in the isolation unit in Liberia — but rather in the emergency room of our hospital. Within the isolation unit, our procedures, protocols, and equipment were all extraordinarily safe. And thousands of other aid workers have safely served in Ebola Treatment Units with the proper personal protective equipment and adequate training.

If you aren’t a medical professional, there are vital ways to contribute to the fight stateside, as well. Donate money to the organizations that are serving on the front lines of West Africa. Learn about Ebola and educate your friends — knowledge is power, and in this case, that means power to overcome fear. Maybe you can even come up with the next “Ice Bucket Challenge” to increase awareness and raise funds to put an end to Ebola!

The health care workers, aid workers, and military personnel who have chosen to go to a place of great suffering — to help and serve people — should be honored and celebrated as heroes. The United States military is the best organization in the world to provide logistical support for the organizations and countries fighting on the front lines against this disease. This effort should be expanded.

Please, continue to pray for the people of West Africa who are facing such devastation in the midst of this epidemic. We must not lose our sense of compassion for our neighbors. Our struggle with Ebola as a global community is far from over — but I am confident that we will beat this. It’s going to take every one of us.

God bless you all,


Dr. Kent Brantly
Fort Worth, Texas

This email was sent to egondu@gmail.com.

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2 Responses to Experiencing Ebola

  1. Amaris Ifedi says:

    Thank you for posting and re-posting Dr. Brantly’s article. He could not have articulated my own thoughts better. The ignorance is overwhelming. We need to continue education, praying, donating, and thinking about ways to not only fight EVD but the disgusting stigmatization that lingers, especially, when you aren’t an American citizen and can’t be flown non-stop to a completely decontaminated hospital in Georgia, Texas or New York. Thank you Dr. Brantly for staying strong and being so supportive and not selfishly running away from the fight!

    • adaeze12014 says:

      Thanks Amaris for your comments. I have been on a long project that took me away from this site. I hope people have missed the absence of more content. We will resume posting before the end March 2015. Thanks again.

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