'Miraculous Day' as US Ebola Patients Sent Home
After nearly three weeks of intense treatment, testing and isolation, American Ebola patients Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly are back with their families.
Speaking at a conference after his release Wednesday, Brantly, 33, called it 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," Brantly said.
Writebol, 59, was released Tuesday. Her husband said in statement that she is free of the virus but was recuperating at an undisclosed location.
"During the course of her fight, Nancy recalled the dark hours of fear and loneliness, but also a sense of the deep abiding peace and presence of God, giving her comfort," her husband said.
Both Writebol and Brantly say they're thankful for the prayers on their behalf.
"I cannot thank you enough for your prayers and your support," Brantly said. "But what I can tell you is that I serve a faithful God who answers prayers."
Click play to watch Dr. Brantly's entire statement after his release.
Brantly was working with Samaritan's Purse in Liberia, treating Ebola patients. Writebol, a nurse with the missions organization SIM, also contracted the disease while working alongside Brantly. Both were flown to Emory University Hospital earlier this month.
"I join all of our Samaritan's Purse team around the world in giving thanks to God as we celebrate Dr. Kent Brantly's recovery," ministry leader Franklin Graham said in a statement. "His faithfulness to God and compassion to the people of Africa have been an example to us all," he said.
Doctors say after three weeks, Ebola patients who beat the disease can't spread the virus because it's no longer in their blood or saliva.
"The medical staff here at Emory is confident that the discharge from the hospital of both of these patients poses no public health threat," Dr. Bruce Ribner at Emory said.
Experts say both patients still have some healing ahead of them as its common for fatigue and aches and pains to linger.
But while their treatment was a success, the outbreak in West Africa is far from contained. According to the World Health Organization, the death toll is now at more than 1,300 people.
Local governments have put in place a "no touching" rule and are going to great lengths to encourage the public to wash their hands with chlorinated water.
"They're saying don't hug your wife, don't hold hands with your friend, don't even shake hands with a colleague," Operation Blessings David Darg said.
But many of the areas being hit the hardest by Ebola have run out of chlorine. Operation Blessing is on the scene and heard of this need.
"I met with the minister of the interior of Liberia and asked him what his priority needs were," Darg told CBN News. "He's heading up the anti-Ebola task force for the nation. He said his number one need right now was body bags, which was an eye opening need of course. His number two need was chlorine."
Operation Blessing is sending five chlorine generating units from its Chesapeake, Virginia, warehouse.
They will be able to produce a total of 550 gallons of chlorine per day, a major step toward reducing the threat of spreading the virus.
The charity organization is also working with local churches to educate the public. Find out how you can help by going to the website, Operation Blessing.