INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The release of Dr. Kent Brantly and his colleague Nancy Whitebol is being celebrated by the medical community around the world and right here in Central Indiana.
Chad Priest said he was thrilled seeing Dr. Brantly released from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on Thursday. Priest is an assistant dean at Indiana University, nurse, Air Force veteran and he even has a law degree. However, he says the emotion behind what’s happening in West Africa is overwhelming and Dr. Brantly’s story has a big impact.
“Smaller than a micron, right, this tiny little thing, which threatens civil society, which has caused hunger and very well could lead to famine, that’s the injustice and that’s the part that gets to you,” Priest said.
Priest’s stint in Liberia overlapped with Brantly’s. He says he watched the Ebola epidemic take over the region, but Brantly’s recovery is a sign of hope.
“Early treatment. You can survive Ebola,” Priest said.
Still, medically, it’s hard to decide what made the difference for Brantly and Writebol. Was it the move to the United States or the experimental serum?
“I don’t know that we can suppose that his physical location made the difference between his life or death no matter than we can whether than this experimental drug was the proximate cause of his success,” Priest said.
Brantly says it was the power of prayer.
“I am forever thankful to God for sparing my life and I’m glad for any attention my sickness has attracted to the plight of West Africa in the midst of this epidemic,” Dr. Brantly said Thursday.
Priest says so many people are still struggling with the disease in West Africa and medical staff need basic supplies like gloves and food.
“Our willingness to go outside of our borders to help others in crisis is an indicator in our ability to keep ourselves safe in the future,” Priest said.
That’s why Priest hopes Brantly’s story will shed light on the region shadowed by Ebola.
“He got sick doing something he believed in and we took care of him, and that was important, and now he’s better and that’s a great story,” Priest said.
Priest did point out that Brantly’s release comes on the heels of World Humanitarian Day, celebrated on Wednesday. To support Priest’s effort to bring supplies to West Africa, click here.