An American doctor infected with the deadly Ebola virus selflessly asked that an experimental treatment be given to his colleague because there was only enough for one person, his aid organization said Thursday.
Dr. Kent Brantly was completing a post-residency program with Samaritan's Purse before making the decision to join a medical team they had responding to the Ebola outbreak. Last week he realized he had symptoms. His condition has significantly worsened since.
Dr. Brantly was serving as medical director for the Samaritan’s Purse Ebola Consolidated Case Management Center in Monrovia when he tested positive for Ebola. (Image source: Samaritan's Purse)
On Wednesday, an experimental treatment was flown in, but Brantly insisted doctors use it to treat his colleague, aid worker Nancy Writebol.
“Yesterday, an experimental serum arrived in the country, but there was only enough for one person. Dr. Brantly asked that it be given to Nancy Writebol,” Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse, said in a statement.
[sharequote align="center"]“[T]here was only enough for one person. Dr. Brantly asked that it be given to Nancy Writebol"[/sharequote]
“However, Dr. Brantly received a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy who had survived Ebola because of Dr. Brantly’s care," he added. "The young boy and his family wanted to be able to help the doctor that saved his life.”
Dr. Kent Brantly cares for an Ebola patient in the isolation ward before he tested positive for the virus. (Image source: Samaritan's Purse)
On Thursday, Samaritan's Purse said that both Writebol and Brantly are in "stable but grave condition."
Later in the afternoon, news broke that two American patients with Ebola will be flown to the U.S. According to CNN, the individuals were identified as Brantly and Writebol.
BREAKING: 2 American patients stricken with Ebola will be flown to the US, @DrRichardBesser has learned.— ABC World News (@ABCWorldNews) July 31, 2014
One of the two will be taken to Emory University Hospital for treatment.
"Emory University Hospital has a specially built isolation unit set up in collaboration with the CDC to treat patients who are exposed to certain serious infectious diseases," the hospital said in a statement, adding that hospital staff and physicians "are highly trained in the specific and unique protocols and procedures necessary to treat and care for this type of patient."
The current Ebola crisis has killed more than 700 people this year, marking the largest outbreak of the disease since it first emerged in Africa nearly 40 years ago.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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