Monday, August 17, 2015

BOOK - Called for Life

"Missionary recounts Ebola fight as both doctor and patient" PBS NewsHour 8/10/2015


SUMMARY:  Dr. Kent Brantly contracted Ebola while treating patients during last year's epidemic in West Africa.  He was airlifted from Liberia back to the U.S. and received an experimental drug and other treatment at Emory University Hospital.  Brantly joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss his experience, faith and new book, "Called for Life.”

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Next, the medical doctor who was airlifted from Liberia to the U.S. one year ago this month after he contracted Ebola while treating patients in West Africa.

Kent Brantly and a medical missionary colleague, Nancy Writebol, who was also infected, were treated with the experimental drug ZMapp at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.  Both eventually recovered.

Now Dr. Brantly and his wife, Amber, have written a book about the experience.  He recently sat down with Hari Sreenivasan in our New York studio.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  So, it’s almost exactly a year ago, after you quarantined yourself.  You have got all the symptoms.  You have got the vomiting, the diarrhea, the bloodshot eyes, things that you have been seeing in patients and treating.  And, for the most part, those patients have been dying.  What’s going through your head?

DR. KENT BRANTLY, Author, “Called for Life”:  Before I received my diagnosis, the main symptoms I had were fever, fatigue, body aches and diarrhea.

When the diarrhea started, that was more mounting evidence that this really is probably Ebola.  But I held on to that hope that it was something else until we had the definitive test result.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  You were the first human to get ZMapp.  Before that, I think it’s been a dozen, maybe 18 monkeys had got it.  What went through your mind in making that decision to say either yourself or your colleague at the time Nancy should take this?

DR. KENT BRANTLY:  Nancy and I actually talked on the phone.  I remember she called me and said, after we had the kind of informed consent discussion with the doctor that was in charge of our care, she said, “Kent, what are you going to do?  Because I’ll probably do whatever you do.”

And I said, “I think I would be willing to receive it.”

But it was — you know, I thought, otherwise, I’m probably going to otherwise, and this may or may not help, but at least I could be a guinea pig and let the world know whether there is any benefit to it or not.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Once you get this special air ambulance that is arranged, the State Department, lots of people working to try to make this happen, it’s a bit cloak and dagger.  You’re literally taken to the airport at night.  There’s — before this, there are countries that don’t even want you flying over their airspace.

DR. KENT BRANTLY:  It did seem like something from a movie.

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