U.S. Ebola patient ‘growing stronger every day’

WASHINGTON, (PNA/Xinhua) — One of the two Americans who contracted Ebola in West Africa and are being treated in a U.S. hospital said Friday that he is “growing stronger every day” as he “wrestled with this terrible disease.”

In a statement he wrote from an isolation room at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, 33-year-old Kent Brantly said he is being provided with “the very best care possible” and expressed his “deep and sincere thanks to” those who have been praying for his recovery as well as for his colleague Nancy Writebol.

Brantly and 59-year-old Writebol were stricken with the Ebola virus while treating patients in Liberia last month. Both were brought back to the Atlanta hospital for treatment early this month.

He recalled that when Ebola spread into Liberia, his usual hospital work turned more and more toward treating the increasing number of Ebola patients.

“I held the hands of countless individuals as this terrible disease took their lives away from them,” the doctor said. “I witnessed the horror firsthand, and I can still remember every face and name.”

Then on a Wednesday morning in July, he started feeling ill and immediately isolated himself, Brantly said. Three days later, he was confirmed being infected with the disease. “When the result was positive, I remember a deep sense of peace that was beyond all understanding,” he recalled in the statement released by Samaritan’s Purse, the aid group he worked for.

Meanwhile, Writebol is also recovering. Her husband told U.S. media Friday that she is well enough to ask for Starbucks coffee.

Both Brantly and Writebol have received an experimental drug never tested in humans. U.S. health officials warned that it’s too early to tell if the treatment is helpful, harmful or doesn’t have any impact. There is no known cure for Ebola so far.